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ATM frauds and how to overcome them

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Even as usage of Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) is widespread, frauds are ever increasing. Customers must take some precautions while using ATMs, for their transactions to be safe and smooth.
Frauds in ATMs generally take place in the following manner.


1. Fraudsters could place a secret camera, near the card inserting slot, which read the magnetic screen of the card. Once the customer leaves, the culprit will use a duplicate card and enter the details recorded by the camera and withdraw money from that particular bank account.

2. Another method is to place a secret device that will not allow the card to come out of the slot, once inserted. The vexed customer will leave, allowing the fraudsters to remove the card and use it. Usually such crimes occur during non-banking hours, as victims will not have a chance to complain to the bank authorities.

3. Again a secret device is placed at the slot from where cash is collected. It jams the slot exactly at the time when cash comes out, leaving the customer in a fix. Later, the miscreant collects the money.
4. The transaction will take a long time, making the customer suspect the functioning of the machine. After he or she leaves, the fraudster collects the amount.

Woman defrauded at PNB ATM

A woman, who used a Punjab National Bank (PNB) ATM in Chandigarh, faced untold misery, when the machine was hanged. She lost Rs. 17,000 from her account. She later was made to run from pillar to post, lodging complaints. The bank authorities too did not help her much, until she spoke to its Ombudsman.

Finally, an FIR was registered against the bank, and the victim is still waiting for justice.
In another case, employees of CMS money transferring company, looted banks of Rs. 66.58 lakh in four months. The bankers filed a complaint and an FIR was registered.

Precautions to be takenrepresentative image

1. In the case of hanging of ATM, report to security guard at the ATM.
2. See that no one is around while transacting in the ATM.
3. Do not use the ATM when there is no security, during non-banking hours and also at deserted places.
4. Decrease the number of transactions through ATMs.
5. In case of suspicion, call toll free number and block  the card. In cases of cards being stuck, call customer care. Change the PIN frequently.
6. Shield with hand, while typing the PIN number. Make use of bank SMS alerts.
7.Check for foreign devices before using an ATM and report to bank staff in case of suspicion.
8.Memorise the CVV three-digit number at the back of the card, and then erase it. Make sure to sign the card in the allotted space.

Bank s Responsible

Banks are responsible for the maintenance of ATMs. They are expected to place a security guard at all their ATMs. In case of suspicion, customers can give a written complaint to the bank authorities. They can call on toll free number or customer care. An Ombudsman, Consumer Forum or Court can be approached. Legal advice is the best option.
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Thu, Jan 12, 2017, 12:53 PM
Agency: ap7am Desk
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