ATM is a great convenience for citizens, as carrying cash in pockets is not safe due to security issues in our country. Drawing cash from an ATM is an easy procedure, but be careful, as it is not too safe as someone considers.

Frauds of ATM have been reported in big cities of Pakistan. The stealers fraudulently used skimmers (a dummy covering) to capture bank details of debit and credit cards. In fact, Skimmers are physical devices which are installed in front of the slot for an ATM or credit card, that reads data on the magnetic strip which is carrying details of the account. Then they encode the stolen data onto a counterfeit bank card and they use this card for many transactions until the original card holder notices. These transactions are in the way of withdrawal from ATMs or shopping from an outlet.

What is a Skimmer?

In the front of card inserting slot, an additional face plate is installed by stealers. This arrangement is the skimmer device consists of a complex electronic circuit. When a person inserts his debit card in this newly fixed face plate which is exactly looking like original card slot, the skimmer’s circuit activates to read the card’s data stored on the magnetic strip. When the card reaches in ATM’s processing zone message appears to scream to enter your password and so on.

Procedure of ATM Fraud

The pin code is captured by various means. While entering your password someone shoulder surfing or via hidden pinhole camera hooked up in the front of the keypad so smoothly that it seems a part of that ATM’s dashboard. In some cases, a dummy keypad is used exactly overlapping the original keypad of ATM. It stores the pin used. Meanwhile, the skimming gadgets may have more than one alternative medium to transmit the stolen information to stealers within seconds, through WiFi. Some fraudulent are using 3G-LTE Networks to retrieve the records on their personal computers, even while sitting far away from the ATM machine.

At the final stage, the fraudulent compile records, i.e. data and pin from the skimmer and camera to produce a clone of the original card. That cloned card may be used everywhere in an ATM or retailer’s shop.

Security Measures to Avoid ATM Frauds

Skimming cases of ATM Credit card are increasing in Pakistan day by day, and cheaters are adopting new ways of hacking your cards. This is due to unawareness of some fundamental security measures which must be followed to guard your account.

  • Always try to use the ATM which is located within the premises of a bank branch. If cabin of ATM is isolated always lock the glass door before using the machine.
  • Observe Insert Card Area. Never use your card on a machine where the card entering region and the keypad are uncertain. When a skimmer is installed, the region is extra swollen. Moreover, variation in colors of different parts of the dashboard.
  • Look at your surroundings to observe any additional installation of any device. Cover the pin pad. Always use the hands and body to cover the keyboard when typing pin code via the keyboard of ATM – even if you are alone. This will secure your pin from the shoulder surfers and pinhole cameras.
  • Do not use the machine if it requires re-entering the pin again.
  • Pay in cash payment When dining in the restaurant instead of giving your credit card to the cashier for payment. If there is no other way of payment, then take your card by yourself to the cash counter of the restaurant and observe the card swipe procedure, don’t take your eyes off your card, as the card can be swiped again in a second for another transaction if you look at the other side.
  • It is observed that most of the ATM users thrown the slips regarding remaining balance in your account in near the ATM, This Practice may lead to some kind of fraud.
  • After using the ATM carefully observe the outside’s traffic and personals in the surrounding if any doubtful person doesn’t leave the ATM’s cabin.
  • If you found skimmer, the PIN pad doubtful or machine processing is not according to routine, tell someone instantly. If you use an ATM from a Bank, and the Bank is open, inform the Manager of the Bank. On the other way, call the helpline.




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