Transacting through ATM is very convenient and provide ease to many Filipinos. It can really save our time and effort due to many ATM machines available in almost every corner in the metro today.
Having this convenience, we should also know the possible threats and security measures we need to take to avoid ATM fraud. Previously I shared an article entitled, 19 ATM security reminders everyone should know.
It’s a good read for everyone to have additional knowledge how they can secure ATM transactions and avoid ATM fraud.
To continue sharing helpful information, today I will share different types of ATM fraud encountered here in the Philippines for us to become aware and avoid these things.
Almost everyday in the news, there’s a victim of ATM fraud. Their hard-earned money was stolen like a ‘candy‘ by those fraudsters. It should not happen.
We cannot please those fraudsters to stop their ‘evil activity‘ but we can increase our knowledge and awareness to different types of ATM fraud that can help us prevent the issue to happen.
If we are informed and aware about the security measures, they will be having hard time to take away our hard-earned money.
Let me share you the different type of ATM fraud I researched on the internet.
8 Different types of ATM fraud
1. Card skimming
This is done by using a card reader that can capture the data in the magnetic strip of a card. One bold move done by these criminals includes installing a card reader right on top of the ATM’s card slot.
With this device, once a card is inserted, data will automatically be captured. Such card readers, measuring 1″ x 1″ are being sold in the internet for a very low price and with complete instructions.
This scheme, though, is more popular in credit cards because the ‘take’ is higher compared to ATM cards.
2. Salisi gang
Another type of ATM fraud is called the Salisi Gang aka Ipit Gang or Laglag Barya Gang. This is fairly common during paydays when there is a long line of cardholders at the ATM.
How the salisi gang works:
When the cash being withdrawn is about to be dispensed by the ATM, a member of the gang will drop several loose bills and then point to the unsuspecting cardholder for help.
Once the cardholder tries to pick up the bills, another gang member will immediately get the cash waiting at the cash out shutter and then disappear out of sight as fast as he can.
It will be too late when the cardholder realizes what actually happened when he/she tries to get the money being withdrawn.
Another version of this:
When the cardholder is about to retrieve his/her ATM card right after withdrawal, one of the gang members will cut-off, get the card coming out of the card slot, and replace it with a similar looking card.
All of these will happen in just a split second. The unsuspecting cardholder, without realizing what had just happened, will get his/her ‘card‘ and immediately leave.
The gang member, who had already seen the PIN during withdrawal, will then use the stolen card in other ATMs and try to withdraw the remaining balance before the card is reported as ‘stolen‘.
3. Cash Trapping
The proliferation of fraud and crimes committed in the ATMs have surfaced anew and become more sophisticated and the perpetrators bolder than before.
The most common is the so-called cash trapping perpetrated by the notorious group called Ruler Gang. They were given that name because of the device they use in trapping the cash that looks like a ruler.
In the U.S., the device is called the False ATM Presenter.
How cash trapping works:
A member of the gang will install a specially fabricated “ruler” device onto the cash out shutter of the ATM and leaves it there. This device looks exactly like the cash out shutter of the machine.
When an unsuspecting cardholder tries to withdraw, the cash will be trapped inside (it is actually glued at the back of the device).
After a while, the cardholder, thinking there is something wrong with the machine or with his/her transaction, will leave frustrated and disappointed.
Thereafter, the gang will remove the device with the cash still glued on it using their special prying tool.
4. Fake assistance
“May I Help You?” is another ATM fraud employed by notorious elements preying on the elderly and those new in having an ATM card.
Once these perpetrators spotted one, they will appear to be very helpful and offer assistance to the unsuspecting cardholder but in truth, these perpetrators are already memorizing the card number and PIN.
With the card number and PIN, the gang can easily transfer the funds to their own bank account using the internet or mobile phone or a clone ATM card.
There are other fraud and crimes committed in the ATM because of the fact that it is where the money is. Listed below are other fraud and crimes, although not as popular as those discussed above, which are committed at the ATMs:
5. Shoulder surfing
That’s why it is very important to be aware of the person or people around the ATM machine when you transact. If a person or people is too near to you when you transact you can advise them to move a little bit backward.
This is literally looking over the shoulder of the cardholder to see the PIN as it is being keyed in. This compromises the PIN of the cardholder without his/her knowledge.
There is a high-tech, knowledgeable group which is popular in the internet that installs small cameras to see the actual PIN being keyed-in by the cardholder.
This is similar to the scheme above although this time, the PIN is determined by the culprit thru deciphering the tone denoting a particular number with each press of the keypad.
7. Fake PIN Pad Overlay
A device similar to the machine’s keypad is placed right on top of the ATM keypad and captures the PIN entered by the cardholder. Before you transact to the ATM machine, kindly inspect anything that is suspicious on the machine itself.
A scheme that is similar in a way to the one above but here, the cardholder is held-up at gunpoint or with a knife by a hold-upper after withdrawing from the ATM. This is very common ATM fraud here in the Philippines.
This usually happens in paydays like 15th and 30th of the month. We need to be aware of this to help prevent happening to us.
Best way to prevent this is to transact on ATM machine that are in safe places like banks (inside), malls and other places that has security and well lighten.
Now that we know the different types of ATM fraud and crimes, this will really help us be aware of our activity when transacting thru the ATM. This information can help us identify and detect ATM fraud activities and take necessary action.
For additional protection, please be aware of the following:
1. Any suspicious objects or persons near the ATM or inside the ATM booth.
2. Difficulty in retrieving cash dispensed from the ATM.
3. Do not entertain offers of assistance from strangers when you are performing transactions. Cover the PIN pad with your hand and make sure that no one is looking over your shoulder.
4. E-mail, text and phone scams, phony websites and other deceptive methods of extracting sensitive personal information such as impersonating bank or credit card company personnel to lure people to reveal passwords and account numbers.
You can also read 6 Practical tips to secure online transactions posted on this blog.
If in any case you experienced any of the ATM fraud mentioned above, report it immediately to your bank to take necessary action. You can also ask assistance from the nearest police department to help you.
I hope the information shared above provided you ideas to be more aware when transacting through ATM. There could be additional to the list, if you know other ‘modus‘ of these bad people, kindly share it in the comment section below to warn our fellow kababayans.
ATM fraudsters are scattered everywhere waiting for the next victim. By knowing information like these, we are increasing our knowledge and awareness to secure our hard-earned money and our self.
We should always remember that ‘prevention is better than cure‘.