Approximately 4 years ago, I attempted to withdraw money from my ATM only to find out that I already exceeded the maximum withdrawals for the day. Not knowing what happened, I asked my mom’s secretary to inquire with China Bank and they told me that within the week I already made withdrawals amounting to Php76,000. I also found out that Php60,000 of the total amount was withdrawn on the same day (the maximum ATM withdrawal for China Bank is Php20,000/day) and that all the withdrawals were made in Makati at the exact same time. To top it all off, my ATM Card wasn’t even stolen. I had it with me the entire time.
Recently, more and more people have suffered through similar experiences. ATM fraud is on the rise. ATM “scams” have become more and more rampant and criminals are becoming more and more sophisticated that I decided to blog about the different ATM scams known by the people at large. Maybe by knowing all this, we will be able to at least do our best to prevent similar things from happening to us or prevent history from repeating itself (in my case).
- One scam involves capturing the stored personal identification number (PIN), card number, and other relevant information by skimming the magnetic strip of the ATM card using a specialized scanner. The captured information is then copied to produce a duplicate ATM card, allowing the scammers to make withdrawals without the cardholder’s knowledge. Other scams also involve non-bank installed devices, such as hidden cameras, cloning devices and glued traps. These “skimming” devices may either be used on stolen ATM cards or attached to actual ATM machines. (http://business.inquirer.net/money/breakingnews/view/20090624-212235/Public-warned-over-new-ATM-scam)
- One scam involves using fake ATM machines with PCs installed inside. Such fake ATM machines are designed to log card data and the associated PIN numbers of cards used on the machine for later retrieval by hackers. This information will be used to manufacture counterfeit cards that would be used to loot compromised accounts. (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/03/fake_atm_scam_busted_at_defcom)
- In addition to “skimming” devices, criminals also attach tiny cameras somewhere on the ATM machine so that the information of the screen is recorded as well as a person’s hand punching in the PIN number.
- Other clever scam artists have gone so far as to purchase ATM machines of their own which they installed and used to collect account information. Detecting a fake or “bandit” ATM machine is close to impossible.
- Hacking, phishing scams and unsolicited emails