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Pattaya Daily News

24 March 2010 :: 14:03:38 pm 16488

ATM Theft on The Increase

Many people believe ATM theft involves someone breaking into ATMs to steal the money, but this is not so. ATM theft involves someone stealing your card, though not directly taking the card from you. It actually involves the information being obtained either with or without your knowledge and with or without your card.
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ATM theft is increasing at an alarmingly fast rate, with banks losing millions every year, but still they have not come up with a foolproof system and they do not publish their losses. ATM tellers are a part of our lives with the major appeal being convenience, not only for obtaining cash when the banks are closed, but they are now used for paying bills and making deposits.

You are probably wondering, (unless you have already been a victim of this crime) how someone can use the ATM to draw out your money with your information.  If the criminal is desperate enough, it is simply a matter of hacking into the system and taking what they want.

Other ways of obtaining your money from your account is to fit the ATM with electronic gadgets that will record your information onto a blank card, later, using this card to obtain money from different machines on different days until the deed has come to the attention of the owner or the bank and the card is then cancelled.

Most banks have validation techniques in place, but this cannot identify who the user is, unless the ATM also has a camera. Normally, these techniques can only ensure that the required procedures are followed.

Many people have had their card swallowed by the ATM with out managing to complete their transactions and by the time it has been reported, found they have had large withdrawals made.

Withholding a card is a crime that requires a lot of social engineering and a lookout to obtain the unsuspecting consumer’s pin number. This requires an object inserted into the machine in order to catch the card. The accomplice   keeps a look out in order to alert his partner that is tampering with the ATM, so that they can walk away without being noticed, only to return a couple of minutes later to offer their help to the then frustrated consumer.

This entails asking the customer to put in his pin number several times while he presses this, that and the other in order to retrieve the card. The unsuspecting consumer then walks off to report the card to the bank, whilst the criminal retrieves the card and withdraws cash before disappearing.

Most banks these days do not take the whole of the card in for this reason with some having 24-hour surveillance and access to local police if a suspected scam is in progress.

Warnings of these scams should be posted alongside the ATM machines reminding customers to not give out their information and pin numbers to any one except bank officials.

Patty Brown

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