ATM fraud: Types of ATM fraud

ATM frauds: All you need to know to safeguard yourself

3 mins

Automated Teller Machines or ATMs as they are more popularly known have become the most convenient way to carry out quick cash transactions without the hassle of visiting the bank. These machines are installed everywhere, from shopping malls to offices to airports and stations, highway sides and other places. Possibility of needing cash money can arise anywhere, following which an individual would access any available ATM nearby.

Over the years, incidents of ATM frauds have increased. ATM fraud is basically fraudulent activity of gaining illegal access to someone's ATM card and PIN to withdraw money from their account. Another kind of ATM fraud is breaking into an ATM and stealing money from the machine.

However, with advanced technology, new methods and techniques of committing fraud have also arised. Nature of ATM frauds have also changed overtime. Therefore, it is necessary to be aware of various kinds of ATM frauds and to safeguard oneself from being the victim.

ATM scams and frauds: Know more to stay safe

  • Skimming

    Electronically stealing data from an ATM card to imitate it completely, thus making unauthorised transactions from the victim’s account.

  • Shimming

    Installation of a small device called a shimming device on the machine that gathers magnetic information from the ATM card.

  • Cloning

    ATM card cloning is a type of phishing too. Cloning fraudsters primarily target elderly people who are not as aware and cautious regarding such scams and frauds.

  • Trapping

    Installation of a trapping device that makes an ATM card get stuck in the machine’s card slot. The scammer steals the card while the victim asks for help with getting it unstuck.

  • Keyboard jamming

    Fraudsters jam crucial ATM buttons, such as the ‘Enter’ or ‘Cancel’, to have the victim face an unsuccessful transaction. Scammers steal the card when the victim leaves to get assistance.

ATM card fraud: Preventive tips

  • Check the machine for any attached foreign or un recognised devices

  • Refrain from entering ATMs in desolated areas or without a guard

  • Check for any hidden cameras

  • Leave the premises if you see suspicious people lingering inside or around the ATM

ATM skimming: Things to know

  • Fraudsters place a small device in the machine itself that steals the card’s data when swiped.

  • Scammers also place cameras inside the ATM to get the victim’s PIN.

How to know if there is a skimmer in the ATM

  • Inspect if the card slot is abnormally protruding outwards

  • Examine if the keypad appears to be thicker than usual

  • Check for tape or glue on the machine and a camera in the ATM

How ATM skim works

ATM skimming happens using a skimming device, which has two parts:

  • One part is a small device that copies the card’s magnetic strip information placed in the machine

  • The other part is a small camera that clicks photos of the victim while entering the PIN

Tips to prevent ATM skimming

Follow these given tips:

  • Inspect the area in and around the ATM for anything suspicious

  • Examine the machine and its keypad for unusual thickness or damage

  • Keep the keypad covered while entering the PIN

Reporting a skimming incident

Skimming victims should report the ATM fraud case to the bank’s customer care service centre immediately to block and replace the compromised card. Simultaneously, it is wise to buy a plan to safeguard you against such frauds like the Wallet Care plan through Bajaj Finance Insurance Mall.

While we speak about ATM frauds, it is also essential to let you know about the other types of frauds that are happening around us so we are more alert when we share or use our information online or with people who we are not acquainted with

Credit card fraud

Credit card fraud occurs when a fraudster gains illegal access to an individual’s credit card number and PIN. The scammer can then use that information to make financial transactions on behalf of the victim.

Online fraud

Any fraudulent activity committed over the internet is online fraud. These include online spam, scams, identity theft, financial fraud and more.

Phishing – Stay alert

Fraudulent practices committed to steal confidential and sensitive information, such as card details, login credentials, or passwords are considered phishing. Phishing is done via electronic modes like texts or emails that seemingly originated from reliable companies but are from fraudsters.

About UPI and how to prevent UPI fraud

Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is a payment system that lets account holders from across multiple banks make instant transactions from their smartphones. With the high usage of the UPI, scammers have now started misusing the payment request option to source the PIN or OTP to authorise a transaction.

Preventive tips for UPI-related frauds

  • Never share OTPs or UPI PINs with anyone

  • Do not open any unsecured links

  • Verify payment requests

  • Do not download dubious applications

  • Be careful while scanning UPI IDs

Data loss and prevention

Data loss refers to an individual's confidential data going missing or being compromised, wherein the data owner cannot access it.

With most of the data being stored online now, implementing data loss prevention (DLP) is of utmost importance. Organisations and individuals are at risk of the following without DLP:

  • Other third parties also gain access to the lost data and, in future, may cause further problems

  • Fraudsters can use stolen data to access more sensitive information, like financial details, and make unauthorised transactions

  • Hackers can access the users' confidential information on the dark web

Safeguarding against frauds with wallet & card protection plans

Wallet & card protection plans offered through Bajaj Finance Insurance Mall help you safeguard against financial liabilities arising from frauds. These plans have multiple benefits including taking care of your financial liabilities by paying the card issuer any outstanding bills up to the coverage amount on the cardholder's behalf.

Single call card blocking, PAN replacement, 24/7 helplines, emergency travel assistance, it’s all made possible with these plans.

When it comes to frauds, the best way to prevent them is to stay alert and make sure to be careful when you share any information online or otherwise. Another way to safeguard yourself is to choose one of our wallet and card protection plans and rest assured.


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