How to protect yourself from ATM fraud as a customer

  • Familiarize yourself with the ATM machines of your bank especially the card slot entry area. This will help you notice anything that is out of the ordinary before you transact. Keenly observing the ATM machine and its surroundings should be top on your priority list before transacting.
  • As you punch in your PIN, shield your hand and the keypad with your body or the other hand to ensure that any installed cameras do not capture your PIN details. In some cases, heat sensitive thermal Cameras are used which can detect the keys you punched long after you’ve finished putting in the PIN. So, to be safe, you can go the extra mile and cover some form of tissue or cloth on your finger as you input the details.
  • Use familiar ATMs. Be careful which ATM machines you go to. In case you’re not comfortable with the area an ATM is located, then do not transact. ATMs in dimly lit areas or visited late in the night might be more susceptible to fraud.
  • When distracted during an ATM transaction, immediately cancel your transaction and collect your card before responding to anyone who has distracted you.
  • Always change the Card’s PIN from the original number given to you (this number may sometimes be part of the data on the magnetic strip and could be discovered by thieves who have stolen your card).
  • Do not accept assistance or guidance form anyone however helpful they may seem.
  • If your card is trapped or swallowed by an ATM, do no leave the ATM immediately. Call the bank or even better wait until you can see someone else successfully transact from the very ATM machine you’ve used before you can prove that it wasn’t a mere fabricated blockade.
  • Feel the Card entry slot. If you detect anything loose around it, then you have reason to suspect that a skimmer could have been inserted. Call and report your findings to the bank.

In case you’ve already fallen victim, try any of the following;

  • When you discover a card reader or card-trapping device, don’t remove it. Call the bank authorities or Police ASAP because the crooks may be watching the ATM and want to recover their equipment.
  • In case of a lost card, immediately notify your bank and terminate any further transactions on your account.
  • When approached by someone suspicious at the ATM, calmly observe them and keep track of whatever possible detail you can come up with then proceed to submit a report to the bank or the Police.


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