ATM & Cash Machine Fraud

ATM Fraud
ATM & Cash
Machine Fraud

Protect yourself from
cash machine fraud

ATM Fraud - what to look out for

Add your signposting title here… What is ATM fraud?

Cash machine or ATM fraud is when fraudsters or criminals use cash machines to take data or even the debit or credit cards themselves to use for fraudulent transactions.

In this clip, Tony Blake, Senior Fraud Prevention Officer at the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit, explains what to look out for when you’re at the ATM.

What are the ATM criminals doing?



Skimming is when a criminal fits a small device in the card slot of the ATM. This little gadget captures the data from the magnetic strip on the back of a bank card. They will also conceal a camera to film the PIN number. The fraudster then puts the stolen bank card data onto the magnetic strip of another card, such as a mobile top up card, which is then used to make cash withdrawals, often overseas. 

Card Trapping

Card Trapping

Card trapping occurs when a device fitted to the card slot stops your card being returned to you. Once you’ve left the machine, the fraudster prises the device off, taking your card.  

Add your signposting title here… What do the banks do to protect you from ATM fraud?

Following the above advice will keep you safe, but it’s also important to know what the banks are doing to stop fraudsters.

Banks and cash machine operators have invested heavily in an effort to combat these types of crimes. Security devices, like improved card slots, are fitted to cash machines to prevent both skimming and card tapping.

How can you avoid ATM fraud?


Always carefully cover your PIN from hidden cameras or prying eyes whenever you use your card

Do not keep a written record of your PIN

Never tell anyone else your PIN or allow anyone to use your card

Don’t choose a PIN that someone could easily guess, like your date of birth

Store the 24 hour emergency contact number for all of your cards in your mobile phone or anywhere that’s easy to access

If your card is not returned to you by an ATM after use, call your card issuer immediately – if possible whilst at, or near, the machine

If you happen to notice anything unusual or suspicious about an ATM, do not use it and report it to the bank or cash machine operator

Check your statements regularly – if you spot anything suspicious, report it to your bank straight away

When using an ATM, make sure that look out for people close by who may be trying to distract you in order to steal your card or pin

Remember, if you’re unlucky enough to be a victim, you are protected and you will get any money lost back from your bank, providing that you have adhered to the conditions of use. If you're worried about becoming a victim of fraud, get yourself up to speed on actions you need to take. You can find these out here

Looking for tips on how to stay safe online? Have a read of our handy guides
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