The one thing you must do to avoid being scammed at an ATM in South Africa

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) has warned that the prevelance of cybercrime is increasing, and that people are defrauded of millions each year.

“It affects business sectors and consumers, and this has called on security measures to be put in place to protect assets and important information,” said Kalyani Pillay, Sabric CEO.

“The responsibility of protecting yourself against cybercrime and increasing your cybersecurity lies with every single one of us.”

FNB, Capitec, and Nedbank provided advice on how to avoid falling prey to criminals targeting ATMs, and all stated that you should never allow anyone near you, your bank card, or the ATM while you are withdrawing money.

ATM crime and scams

Capitec said it has tightened card security to prevent skimming, but fraudsters have reverted back to older scams involving stealing a client’s card and compromising their PIN at an ATM.

Most schemes involve the criminals distracting clients at the ATM when they enter their PIN.

They cancel the transaction and take the card while the client is distracted. The client believes the ATM has swallowed the card – in reality, the fraudsters already have the card and PIN.

While the client tries to get the ATM to release the card, the fraudster draws funds from another ATM.

FNB offered the following advice on how to safely use ATMs:

  • Do not ask anyone to assist you at the ATM – not even a bank official. Go inside the bank for help.
  • Never force your card into the slot if it won’t fit.
  • Do not insert your card if the screen layout is unfamiliar to you and looks tampered with.
  • Don’t use ATMs where the card slot, key pad ,or screen has been tampered with.
  • If you think the ATM is faulty, cancel the transaction immediately and report the fault to your bank.
  • Have your card ready before you approach the ATM to avoid opening your purse/wallet while in the queue.
  • Follow the instructions on the ATM screen.
  • Report suspicious items or people around ATMs.
  • Choose familiar and well-lit ATMs where you are safe.
  • Do not use the ATM if there are loiterers or suspicious people in the vicinity. Also take note that fraudsters are often well dressed, well spoken, and respectable looking.
  • If you are disturbed or interfered with while transacting at the ATM, cancel the transaction and report the incident.
  • Contact you bank’s Card Cancellations Contact Centre if you believe you card has been skimmed.

More on cybercrime

How criminals steal your credit card info

Online credit card fraud warning for South Africans

How criminals are skimming your bank cards

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The one thing you must do to avoid being scammed at an ATM in South Africa