Link Interchange Network, the cash machine operator, today launches top tips to help consumers avoid cash machine fraud.
Figures released by APACS in March revealed that all incidences of cash machine fraud fell by 6 per cent in 2006, compared with 2005. However, cash machine fraud still costs the banking industry more than £60m a year.
Graham Mott, Head of Planning and Development at LINK comments: "Card skimming remains the most common cash machine crime, and it is important that the industry works with consumers to combat fraud in any form. We are pleased to see that this type of fraud fell by 23 per cent in 2006 compared to 2005 but we want to ensure that this trend continues and there are ways in which consumers can ensure that they do not become victims."
LINK's top ten anti-fraud tips for cash machine users:
- Where possible, use cash machines with which you are most familiar. Alternatively, choose well-lit, well-placed cash machines where you feel comfortable.
- Scan the whole cash machine area before you approach it. Avoid using the cash machine altogether if there are any suspicious-looking individuals around or if it looks too isolated or unsafe.
- Keep your PIN secret. Never reveal your pin to anyone, not to someone from your bank, the police and especially not to a "helpful"; stranger.
- Check that other individuals in the queue keep an acceptable distance from you. Be on the look-out for people who might be watching you enter your PIN.
- Stand close to the cash machine and shield the keypad with your other hand when keying in your PIN.
- Check to see if anything looks unusual or suspicious about the cash machine indicating it might have been tampered with. If the cash machine appears to have any attachments to the card slot or key pad, do not use it. Check for unusual instructions on the display screen and for suspicious blank screens. If you suspect that the cash machine has been interfered with, proceed to another machine and inform the bank.
- Avoid cash machines which have messages or signs fixed to them indicating that the screen directions have beeen changed, especially if the message is posted over the card reader. Banks and other cash machine owners will not put up messages directing you to use specific cash machines.
- Be especially cautious when strangers offer to help you at a cash machine, even if your card is stuck or you are experiencing difficulty with the transaction. You should not allow anyone to distract you while you are at the cash machine.
- Never force your card into the card slot. If you feel the cash machine is not working normally, press the cancel key and withdraw your card and then proceed to another cash machine. If your card gets jammed, retained or lost report this immediately to the bank and/or police using the helpline provided or nearest phone.
- Keep your printed transaction record so that you can compare your cash machine receipts to your monthly statement. Regularly check your account balance and bank statements and report any discrepancies to your bank immediately.