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How to avoid getting hacked at the ATM

How to avoid getting hacked at the ATM

Don’t become a victim of ATM skimming, here’s what you need to know

Around 600 customers have lost at least Rs 10 million in Pakistan, becoming the victim of Automated Teller Machine (ATM) skimming fraud.

The affected bank, Habib Bank Pvt Ltd, confirmed that skimming devices were installed on 10 ATMs in Islamabad and Karachi. Soon after, the bank block all ATM cards to protect customers from cyber theft.

Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) immediately took the notice of the complaints and has started an investigation against the culprits that are behind this terrifying campaign.

HBL Chief Marketing Officer Naveed Asghar admitted that around 579 customers of the bank had been impacted by the cyber attack.

He urged citizens not to panic as the affected customers would soon be reimbursed. “We are investigating it (hacking) and will reimburse those who have lost their money,” he said.

“All machines (ATMs) have been rechecked to make sure that the bug is removed … we are giving assurances to our customers that there is nothing to panic and worry about.”

What is ATM skimming and how can a hacker use your ATM card?

ATM hacking is actually called ATM skimming and it is a global phenomenon. Criminals hack through skimming devices and capture data from the magnetic stripe on the back of an ATM card.

atm skimming

Some fraudsters attach a fake card-reader on the ATM, while others put a fake keypad on the machine to get your PIN code. So when you insert your ATM card in a machine, it goes through these ATM copiers and the content of your ATM card is copied and stored in these devices.

They also place cameras and imaging devices to ATMs to capture PIN numbers to withdraw money from accounts.

Courtesy of Commonwealth Bank of Australia

How to keep yourself from getting ripped off?

Follow the below-given five steps to keep your ATM transcription and credentials safe.

1. Cover up your personal identification number

Always use your hand to shield the ATM keypad as you type in your security code. It’s a simple solution but one of the best ways to thwart so-called shoulder surfers from stealing your passcode. (Be careful of video cameras, too.)

2. Check for compromised machines

One of the most popular means by which criminals steal payment card data is a device known as a “skimmer.” A crook will plant one of these gadgets on the “swipe” or “dip” port on an ATM, where it may read the magnetic strip on your card and rip its data. The thief can then create counterfeit cards, or use the card information to make purchases online.

3. Use ATMs on bank premises

ATMs that are on-site at your bank are less easily tampered with than ones outside. Accoding to FICO, debit-card compromises at ATMs on official bank property rose a massive 174% as compared to 317% increase for the ATMs not located on actual bank property

4. Limit your exposure

Using ATMs less frequently will lessen the risk that you’ll encounter a bad machine. Try taking out larger sums of cash less often or conducting more business at the counter or via mobile apps.

5. Promptly notify your bank of any bad transactions

If you suspect that something is wrong, call your card-issuing bank immediately. Many of them require that you notify them of unauthorized transactions within a 60-day period after you receive your banking statement.

Courtesy of Commonwealth Bank of Australia

About Sayyar Gul

Sayyar Gul is doing his MS Computational Sciences & Engineering from National University of Science and Technology. He is technology enthusiast with keen interest in new technological developments from around the world.
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