The Internet has made it extremely easy to distribute information to millions of people, including fraudulent business deals and email scams. Fraud and scams are lurking all over the Internet, waiting for innocent victims who will pay or give out their personal details for what they think might be a legitimate business deal. Being aware of what's true and what's not plays a large part in being a responsible citizen of the cyber world.
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What are ATM cash scams?
Scammers are more bold and daring and that's the reason they are tapping into ATM machines. Obviously ATM machine do have cash stored in them and is one of the reasons that scammers target ATMs.
Have you really wondered how the scammer get a hold of the ATM user's card and PIN number, well its very complicated to a person but to a scammer it is the easiest task under the sun.
Here is how ATM scams are carried out :-
- The scammers use a plastic loop or x-ray film and insert it into position where the ATM card goes in.
- They then hang around the area of the ATM machine waiting for a customer.
- The unsuspecting customer insert his/her card into the slot and enter the PIN but the since the card cannot be read the machine asks for the PIN number to be keyed in again.
- The customer is careful about entering the PIN number and does it very slowly giving the scammer who is hanging around a chance to figure out the PIN.
- The scammer then approaches the customer and says that a similar thing has happened to him and it would be best to report it to the bank manager
- The unsuspecting customer then leaves the ATM to find the nearest bank or walk into the bank branch to request for the ATM card
- The scammer pulls-out the plastic sleeve or the x-ray film that is holding the ATM card and takes off with it.
- The scammer then uses the ATM card and the PIN at another ATM to withdraw a large amount of money.
This is the traditional method used by ATM cash scammers. But in more recent times there are a group of foreign scammers who were caught using sophisticated material such as built in camera's to record the customers PIN number without actually being present at the ATM themselves. This new scamming device is known as the 'Lebanese Loop'.
There are also certain reported cases of ATM cash scams where scammers have made and installed bogus ATM machines that can record a PIN number in certain ATM centres. Once the customer leaves the ATM to make his or her complaint the scammer moves in and removes the bogus ATM and replaces the genuine ATM. When the bank manager or a representative of the bank is sent to retrieve the ATM card for the customer they are in for a nasty shock.
ATM cash scammer also use artificial cash slots where the cash is dispensed and the unsuspecting customer walk away thinking that his or her transaction did not go through since the cash was not dispensed. Here too a plastic sleeve is used to trap the cash.
ATM cash scammers also use disposed magnetic strips from other cards that are thrown away.
Artificial PIN number pad are also inserted or placed on top of the keys to record PIN number from unsuspecting customers. These customers are asked several times to enter the PIN number while the ATM card is also being trapped in the card slot.
In order to protect your self from these ATM cash scams here is what you do:-
- If your card get stuck or you feel that something is wrong immediately examine the card slot for clear film, loop or an artificial card slot.
- Never let anyone stand next to you, insist that you need your privacy.
- Never get on the phone while you are withdrawing money from an ATM, this can easily distract you and if a scammer is nearby he can get all your vital information while you continue your conversation on the mobile
- Never let anyone around you use a mobile while you are trying to withdraw money as they often use the camera to record you entering your PIN number.
- If the ATM machine you are using suddenly goes out of order or says that the machine is out of service and it has already swallowed you card up. Check the ATM card or call the bank immediately without leaving the ATM. If you feel uneasy you can even call the police.
- Never withdraw money at night or in ATM that are badly lit during the night.
Always be cautious when using a ATM machine to withdraw your money.