How to avoid ATM fraud – lessons from Standard Chartered GH


Did you know your electronic card information can be copied or stolen from an ATM without you knowing? Fraudsters can capture your card information in many ways, from spying on you to tampering with the ATM.

There are four main ways by which fraudsters can capture your card details and steal your money – ATM card trapping, card skimming, keyboard overlays and shoulder surfing.

ATM card trapping is when an ATM card reader (machine or POS) is tampered with to trap the card so that details could be captured, while card skimming is when a skimming device is placed over the card slot to steal your card information.

Skimming is an illegal practice used by identity thieves to capture credit/debit card information from a cardholder surreptitiously. Fraudsters often use a device called a skimmer that can be installed at gas pumps, ATM machines or point of sale (POS) devices to collect card data.

Fraudsters also use shoulder surfing, which is basically when someone looks over the card holder’s shoulder at the ATM or payment point to observe his or her PIN, and finally keypad overlays, which is when a false keypad is installed over the ATM’s keypad to capture people’s PIN.

Standard Chartered is therefore educating Ghanaians on how to avoid become a victim of any of the four fraudulent tactics above.

In a write up, the bank is advising customers not to use the ATM “if you suspect it has been tampered with.”

They also urge customers to always be alert and not be distracted by strangers while using their card at the ATM of any electronic payment point, adding, “use your hand to cover your PIN from prying eyes.”

The bank is also urged customers never to share their PIN with other people and also avoid using a PIN that other people can easily guess, like one’s birthday.

They are also asking customer to quickly inform the bank when one’s card is trapped by any ATM machine, or if one receives an alert for a transaction they did not authorize, or if one’s bank statement shows any discrepancy.

The bank said before one uses any ATM, it is important to check of that ATM looks like it has been tampered with – also ensure that “no one is watching you – and do well to report any issues sooner than later.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here