BSP warns vs ATM switchers, surfers
By Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star)
MANILA, Philippines – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said yesterday it has discovered several modus operandi, including “card switching” and “shoulder surfing,” to steal automated teller machine (ATM) cards or the cardholders’ personal identification number (PIN).
The BSP said a suspect would approach an ATM holder who has completed a transaction and inform him that a P500 bill is still stuck in the ATM machine.
The suspect, according to the BSP, would encourage the cardholder to make a balance inquiry and then look at the PIN keyed in by the victim.
At this point, the suspect drops a bill and asks the cardholder to pick it up, saying the money came out of the machine as part of the victim’s withdrawal.
This would give the suspect a chance to remove the victim’s ATM card from the machine and replace it with another card.
The BSP also warned that PINs could also be stolen through “shoulder surfing,” wherein the suspect stands close enough to the machine to see the PIN being entered by their prospective victims.
The BSP said ATM cardholders should always be vigilant and shield the keypad of the ATM machine when making a transaction.
“If you feel that somebody is standing too close, don’t be afraid to tell the next person who is in line to step back. If you feel uncomfortable, allow the other person to go first and complete your transaction one she or he has left,” the BSP said.
It also urged ATM cardholders to inspect machines before any transaction and look for fraudulent card reader devices. “If some parts around the slot for inserting the card do not seem right, consider walking away and transacting in another ATM machine,” the advisory stated.
The BSP urged cardholders to regularly change their PIN and not to share their PIN with another person, not even family members or friends.