ATM Security Manual
“An informed, security-conscious customer is far less likely to be defrauded”
This manual is designed to ensure optimal levels of customer safety and convenience at ATMs.
It is true that law enforcement agencies around the world need the communities they police to play a part in the upholding of law and order. In being more security-conscious, and taking precautions whenever possible, citizens can help prevent crimes from taking place. This is equally true when it comes to ATM usage.
Therefore, we would like to appeal to all regular users of ATMs to read this manual and practice its simple guidelines.
The Global ATM Security Alliance was formed to assist law enforcement and fraud prevention agencies and to strengthen the industry’s protections against criminal activity. We are proud to present this ATM Security Manual for Customers for your benefit. It includes “The World’s Top Twenty Tips for ATM Use” collected from Australia, New Zealand, United States of America, United Kingdom, Europe, Canada, India and South Africa.
Enjoy reading this important document!
The ATM Industry Association
The Global ATM Security Alliance would like to thank the following organizations and individuals for their invaluable assistance in compiling this manual:
ABA (Australian Bankers’ Association)
ABSA Bank (SA)
Ann All, ATMmarketplace.com (USA)
ATMIA (USA, UK, Canada, Europe, Africa, Australia)
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group
BankNote Watch (UK)
Business Against Crime (SA)
Fair Isaac Corporation
Interac Association (Canada)
National Australia Bank Ltd
PULSE EFT Association (USA)
Secure Matrix India
South African Banking Risk Intelligence Centre
South African Fraud Prevention Services
Standard Bank (SA)
Tom Harper, ATMmarketplace.com (USA)
Quick Facts about ATMs
- There are over 1.2 million ATMs installed worldwide.
- Approximately every 5 minutes a new ATM is installed.
- Various industry bodies help to self-regulate the ATM industry including: banking associations, electronic funds transfer associations, network associations and the internationally active ATM Industry Association (ATMIA).
- The ATM is one of the most important technological inventions of the second half of the twentieth century, helping to create the 24 X 7 open convenience demanded by the consumer society.
- The ATM provides millions of cardholders around the world with convenient 24 X 7 all hours access to their own banked cash near to where they live, work and shop.
- ATMs have made banking more convenient today than ever before: with the touch of a few buttons, cardholders can withdraw cash, make deposits, top up air time, pay bills and transfer funds.
- The industry does care about the security of cardholders and has formed a Global ATM Security Alliance to combine global security resources to stamp out crime and fraud connected to ATMs.
Customer security is a key consideration when choosing sites for ATMs.
MUCH LIKE BUCKLING UP YOUR SAFETY BELT WHEN TRAVELLING IN A CAR, THESE GUIDELINES ARE FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!
Summary of ATM Security for Customers
YOU, your PIN and your CARD looked after together are the keys to ATM security:
- Approach an ATM only under the right conditions in order to protect YOURSELF.
- Ensure that only you know, view and use your PIN.
- Follow the ATM screen's instructions when using your CARD and ensure the card is kept secure during and after use.
Additional Tips for Different Types of ATMs
Tip for Use of Lobby ATMs
- If you are using an indoor ATM that requires your card to open the door,
avoid letting anyone come in with you.
Tip for Use of Drive-up ATMs
- Lock the car doors and roll up unused windows when you use a
Other General Tips
- Ensure that you sign your card on the signature panel as soon as you receive it.
- Protect your cards as if they were cash. Do not leave them unattended anywhere. Keep your cards in a secure place and never leave them or personal identity documents lying around at home, at work, in a vehicle or in public places.
- If at all possible, do not let your bag or wallet out of your sight in public places.
- Be alert to what is happening with your card when performing a transaction. For example, do not let a restaurant waiter take your card away to settle the account. Watch your card when you hand it to a cashier. Pay attention as the cashier processes your card - make sure they do not swipe it through two different devices: if that happens, contact your bank immediately.
- Make a list of your card account numbers and telephone numbers for reporting lost or stolen cards. Keep the list in a safe place. Check your cards periodically to make sure none are missing.
- Never give your credit card number over the phone or internet, unless you are dealing with a reputable company, you have initiated the call yourself, or you are 100% certain of the caller’s identity and that of the company they represent.
- Read and understand the Terms & Conditions for card usage issued by your financial institution(s). Contact customer services if you are unclear about any of the terms.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE TECHNIQUES USED TO CARRY OUT ATM CRIME?
Card jamming – where an ATM’s card reader is tampered with in order to trap a customer’s card. The criminal removes the card once the customer has departed.
Card skimming – where an illegal skimming device is used to copy a card’s security information on its magnetic stripe in order to reproduce the information on a counterfeit card.
Card swapping – where a customer’s card is swapped for another card without their knowledge during an ATM transaction.
Shoulder surfing – where an individual stands close by to observe PIN entry.
Compromise of PIN number – either the customer’s PIN is noted by observation – “shoulder surfing” or through binoculars – or the PIN is illegally recorded by a hidden camera.
Vandalism – where an ATM machine is deliberately damaged and/or the card reader is jammed preventing the customer’s card from being inserted.
Physical attacks – where an ATM machine is physically attacked with the intention of removing the cash.
Diversions – when criminals use messages and signs affixed to ATMs either to make the modifications they have made to the ATM look less suspicious or to direct customers to a nearby ATM which they have compromised.
Muggings – where people are confronted and robbed, usually using force.
Web site spoofing or “phishing” – where a criminal sets up a fictitious web site which looks authentic to the user. This can also be accompanied by an email with a link to the fictitious site. The victim is requested to give their card number, PIN and other identity information which is used to reproduce the card for use at an ATM.
Final Note to the Customer
Millions of ATM transactions are successfully carried out every day around the world without problems or interference by criminals and fraudsters. Only a tiny fraction of criminal incidents occur at ATMs in comparison to the huge volume of usage at the more than 1.2 million ATMs worldwide. However, we of the ATM industry, are committed to removing all crime from the industry (or as much as is humanly possible)! And you can help us achieve that.