How to Protect Yourself from ATM Skimming & ATM Cloning

Several leading public and private sector banks have got reports of ATM frauds even after various advisory issued by them from time to time. Cloning ATM cards is one of the most common fraudulent activities used to withdraw money from remote areas. The investigating agencies have analysed how scammers use card details for fraudulent transactions after skimming. Here are some details to make you aware of ATM skimming. 

What is ATM Skimming?

ATM skimming is a practice of stealing card information. Crooks fix a skimmer, a small capture device, on the ATM card slots to record the card information during an ATM transaction by the user. A card skimmer is a common way of ATM card cloning. As the card is swiped at the Automated teller machine (ATM), the skimmer captures the card information stored on its magnetic strip.

Only an ATM card skimmer is not enough to do an ATM fraud activity. Fraudsters fix a camera also pointing at the keypad inside the ATM room and hack the bank camera to know the ATM pin used by the customer. With this pin code and recorded card details on the skimmer, the crooks create cloned cards and dupe the people.

How To Spot ATM Card Skimmer? 

It is extremely difficult to spot a skimmer in an ATM. But still, one must check the ATM before using it. Following are the cautions one can take to check the tampered devices on the machine:  

  1. The card reader 
  • Bulky Card Reader: Check the card reader section on an ATM. It might be extended more than usual if there is any corrupt influence upon it.
  • Loose Card Reader: If the ATM card reader is loose, do not make any transaction. 
  1. Keypad  
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Check the keypad. If the ATM keypad seems to stand out oddly or loose or spongey, it might be a fake.

These are the tell-tale signs that show an ATM has been tampered. Keep an eye out using these signs to avoid ATM cloning. 

Steps To Avoid Being Duped

  • Examine the ATM keypad. 
  • Change your ATM PIN regularly.
  • Cover ATM keypad while entering the ATM pin.
  • Only memorize your ATM pin. Do not write anywhere.
  • Wait till the ATM restores to the idle mode i.e. blinking of the green light. 
  • Take extra care when swiping your card in hotels/shops/malls etc. 
  • Register your card for SMS updates to get an alert if a suspicious transaction is done using your ATM card.  
  • Do not allow anyone to enter the ATM room until your ATM transaction is completed. 
  • Do not engage in conversation with strangers outside the ATM.

Fraudulent Cover 

To deal with the growing number of ATM frauds in India, financial institutions are making more and more efforts. But, fraudsters are becoming sophisticated enough to carry ATM frauds through various forged activities like card shimming, card skimming, card trapping, jamming of keyboards etc. So, it is advisable to seek coverage with comprehensive insurance policies. Two such policies are offered by Bajaj Finserv. These are:

  1. Fraudulent Charges Cover 
  2. Wallet Care

Fraudulent Charges Cover

Under the Fraudulent Charges Insurance, you can seek protection from the following financial risks: 

  • Coverage in case of lost or stolen card 

Reimbursement for the unauthorized charges made using payment card information. These unauthorized charges must be made through in-store, telephone, ATM withdrawals, or online purchases. 

  • Coverage in case of skimming, cloning and counterfeit frauds 
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Liability will be limited as per the policy schedule. 

Wallet Care 

Under the Wallet Care insurance plan, you can seek protection against the losses incurred due to theft of debit/credit cards or fraudulent transactions done using your payment cards.

With this plan, you can take avail coverage of up to Rs. 2 lakhs with just Rs 599 per annum premium. Other benefits include:

  • 24/7 Card blocking service with just one phone call
  • Emergency Travel Assistance
  • PAN card replacement
  • Mobile sim blocking
  • Complementary fraud protection.
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