Card swapping scam catches local resident
AN Empangeni resident was recently defrauded of R3 000 after a suspect swapped her card for a fake one and made off with her Personal Identification Number (PIN).
According to a family member, the woman attempted to withdraw money from an ATM in Empangeni when she was approached by an unknown man who offered assistance with a troublesome transaction.
While the modus operandi is nothing new, it has once again highlighted the importance of awareness when withdrawing cash from an ATM.
In most cases the fraudster will be busy at the ATM while an unsuspecting victim waits to use the machine.
The scammer will usually target an ATM that is not busy.
After the fraudster is done, he or she will casually walk away, but remain close by.
The targeted victims then insert their cards to withdraw money, but find that the ATM won’t allow them to enter the PIN code - it remains blank.
The scammer then approaches, saying the ATM is not working properly and offers to help.
The scammer cancels the transaction, removes the victim’s bank card and with a sleight of hand, swops the card for another fake bank card.
The ATM then proceeds to the ‘enter your PIN code’ window and the suspect tells the victims to enter it.
Upon doing so, the fake bank card gets swallowed by the machine – with the suspect having now seen the victim’s PIN.
Following this the victims leave the ATM under the impression their cards had been swallowed, however the scammer is now in possession of the victim’s bank card and PIN code.
FNB Points of Presence CEO, LeeAnne van Zyl, said they regularly review security arrangements at their outlets and
Security tips when withdrawing cash from an ATM
• Should you believe your card was retained by the ATM, cancel your card immediately on the ATM with your ID number
• Always cover your hand with the other hand while keying in the PIN and stand close to the ATM using your body as a shield.
• A PIN should be kept secret at all times. Do not write ‘PIN’ on the card or keep the card and PIN together, or store the numbers on your cell phone
• Never disclose your PIN to anyone - not even relatives, friends or a bank official.
• Never accept help from strangers at ATMs.
• Do not select a PIN that is easily identifiable, ie the same as your date of birth.
• Only insert the card and PIN when are aware of card swapping activities.
‘Where incidents are brought to our attention, we conduct internal investigations and work with the South African Police Services.
‘Among the current trends of ATM fraud is not card cloning, but card swapping, which is the actual theft of the card from the customer at the ATM.
the ATM prompts you to do so and press the CANCEL button for safety if the screen is unfamiliar. Don’t allow anyone to call you back to the ATM after transacting.
• Never let your card out of your sight when transacting at a merchant.
• Ensure that you always get your own card back after transacting at an ATM or merchant.
• Check your bank statement and report fraudulent activity immediately.
• Should your card be lost, stolen, retained by an ATM or you suspect that someone else obtained your PIN, cancel your card immediately by phoning the Card Cancellations Call Centre.
• Control your exposure in terms of daily ATM and purchase limits by lowering your daily limit, should it have been set at a level unrealistic to what you would normally spend
Never accept help when withdrawing cash from an ATM