Police are warning Australians to be careful when using ATMs after another wave of skimming has taken $1 million from bank users.
So far, the area between the Sunshine Coast to northern NSW has been used by this ATM crime syndicate since 2009.
Detective Acting Inspector Jason Gough said specific banks were not targeted, with the alleged offenders instead focusing on older models of ATMs.
Some of the ringleaders and money launderers have been caught but there’s still concerns the ATM skimming devices are on ATMs and are capturing sensitive data to withdraw large sums of money.
“We will be alleging that in the early part of 2009, the Gold Coast man formed a company with a Bulgarian man – a scuba diving company – and we will say that is the start of the activity,” Acting Inspector Gough said.
He said the scam involved criminals fitting card reading devices to older ATMs and installing hidden cameras to capture customer’s keypad entries, reports Fairfax.
“We have seen during this investigation very strong evidence where customers have deliberately tried to conceal the pin number that they’re using – either by using their other hand or using a handbag or purse or something like that – the efforts to compromise that account have not been successful,” he said.
“All users of ATMs need to be completely conscious and vigilant”.
Here are 5 ways to stay safe or detect a suspicious ATM:
- Before using the ATM, look for any noticeable signs of a skimmer – they can look like a part of the machine but are an accessory to it, either over the card slot or keypad.
- Look for a camera (not the usual bank camera) that may be blinking. It could be hidden to the left or right of the machine.
- Use secure ATMs inside of a bank’s entrance – they’re less likely to have been tampered with
- Always cover your PIN with your hand or bag.
- Call the customer service number on the ATM immediately if a machine appears suspicious.
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