Increase in the number of cases of ATM fraud in the country over the past few years has alarmed the banking industry. Customers have complained of losing money in their bank accounts although they have their ATM cards and have not authorized any withdrawals.
With the Christmas season fast approaching, authorities are on the lookout for a possible spike in such cases as more customers are expected to conduct their transaction through ATM’s.
Despite preventive measures that banks have already taken to reduce or eliminate the incidence of ATM fraud, fraudsters have become much more audacious in their schemes that have victimized a good number of bank customers.
In order to avert falling victim to ATM fraud, banks have issued a warning to the public to take the following steps when using their ATM cards to withdraw money from their accounts:
- Cover your hand when pressing the buttons on the machine.
- Change your PIN regularly
- Do not write your PIN at the back of your ATM Card or on a piece of paper that you keep in your wallet
- Stop using the machine when the person next to you is too eager to stand behind you
- Check if there are unusual or sketchy devices installed on the ATM
- Keep your transaction receipts
- Monitor your account regularly to check for unauthorized withdrawals
- Contact your bank immediately if you find any unauthorized transaction in your account
- Transact during daytime and at ATM’s installed in bank branches or in any high traffic areas
- Do not ask any unauthorized personnel for assistance should there be problems with the machine
As part of its efforts to provide greater protection for bank customers, the Bangko Sentralng Pilipinas (BSP) has issued an order requiring banks to migrate from the present magnetic stripe type ATM cards to Europay Mastercard Visa or EMV chip-based ATM cards by January 1, 2017.
According to Melchor Plabasan, acting deputy director of the BSP’s IT Core Specialists Group, “chip-based card has a micro-processor that has a lot of security features which is impossible to copy or clone.” Other countries that have used this system have significantly reduced ATM frauds by 80 percent.
While customers await the change in their ATM cards, the BSP has instructed banks to install anti-skimming devices on all 19,000 ATM terminals throughout the country. Moreover, the BSP has advised the public to remain cautious and alert when using their ATM cards.