Skimming bust a reminder to be on guard

This week’s sentencing of two Romanian fraudsters provides a useful reminder to be on guard when using your bank card.

The convicted men were planning to set up skimming devices on ATMs in New Zealand, have been fined $1000 each and will be deported from the country.

“While we would like to have seen a higher penalty applied to send a stronger signal to criminals targeting New Zealand bank customers, the good news is they were caught before they managed to access people’s bank accounts. This means our fraud protection systems are working,” said New Zealand Bankers’ Association chief executive Kirk Hope.

Customer security is a major priority for New Zealand banks which work hard to prevent their customers from becoming victims of any kind of financial crime. While banks take care to protect bank accounts from misuse and fraud, customers also have an important role in protecting themselves and their money.

Safety tips when using your card include:

  • Guard your card. Treat it like cash. Don’t leave it lying around. Make sure you know where your card is at all times.
  • Protect your PIN. Never tell anyone your PINs or passwords – not even the police, bank staff, friends or family.
  • Cover up. When entering your PIN number at ATMs and EFTPOS terminals, shield the PIN pad with your other hand. Criminals may ‘skim’ your card details by attaching a device to the card reader, and then ‘shoulder surf’ or use hidden cameras to record your PIN.
  • Check your statements. Advise your bank immediately of any unauthorised transactions.