This post has been written specifically to educate people of another kind of fraud at the ATMs.
The story narrated below is a real incident that happened today.
A sixty years old year man, living in a small town, visits a neighborhood ATM early morning to withdraw some cash. Like always, he inserts his debit card, enters PIN and requests for cash withdrawal. As machine does not have enough currency notes, machine informs that amount entered is large and requests him to choose a smaller amount. He tries 2-3 times and is able to only withdraw 2-3000. Now the old man is confused what to do.
At this moment, a young man who was standing in ATM cabin, comes closer and offers help with operating machine. Since the old man is not very comfortable with new-age technologies like ATMs etc, he agrees to take help from this young man. Young man takes his card and moves to operate ATM.
Now the awe begins! To old man’s surprise, young man too had a similar debit card. He immediately sensed something was wrong and snatched both the cards from young man and asked him what was he doing. Now the young man was red faced and he immediately ran out of the ATM.
Now the question is “what the young man was trying to do“.
He was sneaking behind the old man, trying to see what PIN is he entering which he managed to find out. His intention was to withdraw the desired cash for the old man and give him the other card so that he can misuse his card later, of which he now knows the PIN.
It was good presence of mind from the old man to smell foul and take quick action, otherwise he could have lost some part of his hard earned or retirement money.
In this case he was not very much interested to inform the matter to bank manager, as he felt that it may involve police and he did want to take pain of visiting police station (not forgetting the cooperative and supportive police departments we have in world’s largest democracy!).
Lessons learnt from this story:
- Never allow any other person to enter or stand behind/next to you in an ATM while you are operating it.
- Only visit an ATM when it has a security guard sitting at the gate.
- Unless needed specifically, keep daily withdrawal limit from debit card to a lower amount. As in case somebody steals your card, you will not lose much in a day.
- Always keep mobile transaction alerts activated on your mobile, even if it comes at some cost.
- Never take help from any unknown person. If you are in doubt, ask bank employees for help if ATM is inside branch or read the instructions carefully.
- Never disclose your PIN with to anyone, yes just ANYONE.
- Make sure you visit a well maintained ATM which has proper camera installed. The camera is usually on top of the machine, at height of your head/shoulder.
- If something such undesirable bad incidences happens, always change your PIN immediately and inform the matter to bank manger.
Please remember since you had you 10th mark sheet or license or first bank account, you are being/can be watched by everyone from our government to FBI and CIA!
Please remember your security and well being is your priority and for that you have to be watchful towards your environment. The old man in this story called me to tell about this incident in the evening.
He is my Father.