ATM scam is a reminder to always check before you enter your PIN

Police are warning Australians to be careful when using ATMs after another wave of skimming has taken $1 million from

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Use secure ATMs inside of a bank’s entrance – they’re less likely to have been tampered with
  4. Always cover your PIN with your hand or bag.
  5. Call the customer service number on the ATM immediately if a machine appears suspicious.

Share your thoughts below.

  1. This really makes me angry. I hate using ATMs and avoid them as much as possible. Our local westpac branch has abolished Tellers. You walk into the bank and are greeted by 5 machines. You have to go to the ATM to withdraw your money and because I like small notes I then have to go to another machine to change the $50 notes. I am being forced to use these machines when I don’t want to. Tomorrow I have the pleasure of going through this procedure, Thank goodness I only withdraw cash once a month.

  2. Although this has been happening for quite some time the Westpac banks here in Melbourne are going completely automated and we don’t get a say in this happening, my bank has been closed for several weeks while they renovated it by removing all the tellers and bringing their ATM’S inside the bank for their customers, I guess I will be doing more EFT transactions while shopping.

    • Welcome to my world. It is not nice. I have written to Westpac complaining . Did no good of course. Also Trish they charge you $2 for the pleasure of withdrawing your own money. Definitely checking out EFT.

      • Jan Edwards  

        I think that stinks. I’d be asking if they want me as a customer or not. At least with my CUA credit union I get a few free transactions per month but still find the eftpos with cash out better at supermarkets.

    • Debbi the charge here in Melbourne is only if you use any machine other than Westpac, still not right as they force them on you want them or not.

    • The charge usually applies if you use the facility at a supermarket or any other checkout facility. The machines INSIDE of a bank are safe as no one can access them to tamper with them

  3. You don’t even need to use ATM’s or do Internet banking. My card was compromised by someone trying to purchase in America. I. Only ever use it at stores, never use it online and pay all my bills by phone. No one is safe..

  4. … Banks have an obligation to stop this drama … What we can do? Stop using the ATM? … I don’t think so!!!

  5. Jan Edwards  

    I find that I use the cash withdrawal option at supermarkets more often than ATMs. They are probably more secure due to the number of attendants and people at these businesses.

  6. Thanks for the advice, it’s a sorry world when we have to guard against absolute scumbags like this, who would rather steal other people’s money than go out and earn an honest living.
    Pity that we have to guard against such thieves.

  7. I have the scammers totally beaten!!!! They will NEVER scam a cent off me because I don’t have one!!!!

  8. Don’t need an atm to steel your money i have my credit card locked away and i was still scamed i never shop on line or do phone banking so how did they get me no one knows.

    • I have had the same thing happen and I was told that thieves run a series of random numbers and skim funds from that way and if your number comes up – bad luck :/

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