How to Protect Yourself Against ATM Card Fraud


According to statistics, 47% of Americans have been victims to credit card fraud in the past 5 years. ATMs in America remain vulnerable. When a consumer takes out cash, they need their ATM card and a pin code. The ATM card does not have chip-and-pin protection. Instead, all the information is stored on the magnetic stripe, which is a very old technology.

Scammers keep coming up with new ways to get money from your bank account, using card and account vulnerabilities. However, there are some ways you can protect your savings.

This blog article provides some tips on ways to avoid having your card compromised in the future.

What Is ATM Card Fraud?

ATM card fraud is a type of fraud where criminals use another person’s ATM card to withdraw money from their account without their permission. This is done by using the victim’s personal identification number (PIN). The other type of ATM fraud is called skimming, which is when criminals place a device on an ATM that captures the victim’s card information and PIN.

Let’s take a look at the most common types of bank card fraud.


ATM skimming is a type of payment card fraud. It is a way of stealing PINs and other information off credit cards and debit cards by rigging machines with hidden recording devices. This can be done by attaching a small device to the ATM that reads and records the data from the card’s magnetic stripe when it is inserted into the machine. The stolen data can then be used to create a clone of the card, which can be used to withdraw cash from the victim’s account.


Credit card shimming is an updated version of this scam. Instead of reading the card number, thieves use a device called a shimmer to read the credit card chip information. This allows them to duplicate your card without you ever knowing.


Sadly, spying is still a common practice. Criminals can plant cameras near ATMs or simply look over your shoulder as you take out your card and enter your PIN. They can also pretend to be good Samaritans in order to steal your information. Spyware can also be installed on your computer without you knowing it. This type of spying can steal your login information, passwords, and other personal information. Be sure to keep your computer security up to date by installing the latest antivirus software and keeping your browser locked while online.


Phishing is a scam where an attacker tricks you into revealing your account login information or other sensitive information. Emails that look like they’re from legitimate sources can ask you to enter your account login information or to update your account details. Be sure to only enter information that you’d be comfortable sharing with a friend or colleague. Never give out your login information or other sensitive information to anyone you don’t trust.

Fake Lotteries

Fake credit card lotteries are a type of scam that starts with an unexpected email notification, phone call, or mailing (sometimes including a large check) explaining that “You have won!” a large sum. The scammers will ask for your credit card number so that they can deposit the prize into your account. Don’t fall for it!

Card Trapping

What if you can’t afford to pay an entire bill at once? What if you only have enough money to make the minimum payment? Credit card companies love this because it means that they can charge interest on the entire balance. And since most people only have a limited number of credit cards, they will eventually max them all out and be left with no choice but to pay the full balance.

How to Detect Debit Card Fraud

For debit card theft, the money is removed from your account instantly and payments can bounce, preventing you from paying for necessities. It takes time for the fraud to be cleared up and your funds returned.

Therefore, it is in your best interest to detect suspicious transactions on your bank card as soon as possible. This will help you prevent losing money from your account!

First, you should sign up for online banking if you haven’t already, and check your account balance daily. If you notice unfamiliar transactions, call the bank right away. Or, if you are forgetful, make sure to keep track of receipts so that you can be certain about fraudulent purchases.

To monitor your recent transactions online or on the phone, you need to review your monthly statement as soon as it comes out and check your account balance often. These methods are not as fast and can take longer to detect fraud, but they’re still ways for you to keep tabs on your finances.

It is also recommended to activate SMS informing services about cash withdrawals from ATMs, as well as about attempts to authorize in the banking application or unauthorized access to money. Such notifications are available in most American and world banks.

This will help you to be informed 24/7 about the status of your bank account.

How to Prevent Debit Card Fraud

The best way to protect yourself from fraud is by staying on top of your accounts and monitoring unusual transactions, so you can quickly detect when they happen. However, this is not the only way to protect your savings.

Let’s take a look at the most effective methods for protecting a bank card from intruders:

  • Check the monthly transactions in your account. Some bank accounts have a transaction log, but you should also review your statement each month for potential fraudulent activity.
  • Keep tabs on your debit cards. As most transactions happen virtually, your cards may not be in your wallet daily. Keep track of which cards go in which wallets to prevent misuse by looking for signs of wear and tear or remembering where you’ve placed them. Reporting lost or stolen cards will help protect against fraud.
  • Do not store your debit card information in a device. Do not send it through email or share it with others. Doing so exposes your sensitive financial data to the possibility of getting into the hands of criminals.
  • When shopping online, make sure to be wary of unscrupulous retailers. Scammers could set up a store for money theft purposes. Look closely at each store before you make transactions so that you catch any issues early on.
  • It’s best to keep statements offline. Store all the statements you want to save and shred those you don’t want anymore.
  • Don’t download unknown or unsolicited programs or files. Some hackers have succeeded in creating apps that can infect your smartphones with malicious programs. In case, you find notifications of sending an email or a text that you have not written, it may be a sign of malware.
  • Use ATMs in safe locations. ATMs in crowded places that are not under video surveillance are more dangerous. Try to use ATMs in banks and offices inside secured areas.

If you notice fraud early, it’s easier to minimize losses. In the event of a data breach, stay vigilant to catch any irregularities. If you’re hypervigilant and pay attention to your bank account regularly, and contact your card issuer if there are unauthorized charges, you can prevent scams from stealing from your finances.

Debit Card Fraud vs. Credit Card Fraud

Using debit cards for purchases is more dangerous as they do not have the same guarantees as credit cards, which is why individuals use credit cards instead.

Two federal laws, FCBA and EFTA, set rules for what consumer liability is in case of credit card or debit card fraud.

Under the FCBA, you’re likely only responsible for unauthorized transactions. However, if you report a debit card lost or stolen before someone uses the card, and it’s reported within two days of when it was lost, and you cancelled the card after you discovered its loss, there is no liability for unauthorized transactions. But under the EFTA, if you report a lost or stolen credit card before someone makes unauthorized transactions, then you are not responsible for any such amount.

It’s crucial for you to know about your bank account so that you can report ATM fraud as it occurs. If you do get scammed, the FTC advises that the first thing you do is call your bank and report it, and then follow up with a letter or email detailing each fraudulent transaction.

What to Do if Fraud Happens to You

If your debit card information has been compromised, contact the bank immediately to limit the potential damage a thief can do. This includes notifying them of fraudulent transactions and asking for any NSF fees to be waived. Make sure to follow up with your bank by phone or in writing regarding fraudulent transactions so that they are aware of what happened.

How Do Banks Detect and Investigate Debit Card Fraud?

Banks frequently contact customers if they think they’ve been hacked to ask if they really made a purchase or used their account in an unusual way. These communications may feel like overkill, but it helps protect against fraud by making sure that you are the one using your account or computer.

Having a bank account can be very safe; banks often have alerts in place to ensure that your money is not taken from you. If a purchase you did not make comes through on your debit card, then the bank will contact you for verification and help with this issue. Keep an eye out when you’re making purchases, because someone could be attempting to use your card illicitly.

However, one of the most effective tools to prevent fraud with bank cards is the use of tools such as ATMeye.iQ.

ATMeye.iQ is a software solution that greatly simplifies the job of banks’ security services. The solution associates every action of an ATM user with a saved photo or video, thereby simplifying the resolution of disputes.

This greatly simplifies the management of a fleet of self-service devices, and provides easy downloading and archiving of electronic magazines, video, and photo materials.


Credit or debit card fraud is on the rise, and with good reason. According to the Federal Trade Commission, credit card fraud has been the most common form of identity theft since 2017, and it is getting worse. The FTC says that the number of reported thefts increased by 15% from the fourth quarter of last year to the first quarter of 2022.

The amount of money that thieves can steal from unsuspecting victims through this type of crime is staggering. There are a few things you can do to help protect yourself from becoming a victim of ATM card fraud, but the best way to avoid it altogether is to be proactive and use common sense when it comes to carrying your cards around. Make sure you keep your PIN secret, don’t give out personal information like your address or bank account number, and always remember to remove your card before leaving the premises.


What should I do if I think I’ve experienced debit card fraud?

If you have a suspicion of debit card fraud, contact your bank immediately. You can also reach out to the IT security support at your bank to alert them and help with investigations.

How do I report debit card fraud?

You can report fraud with your bank card by calling your bank's hotline (find it on the website or on your card). You can also find the support number at the nearest ATM.

Can someone use my debit card without my PIN?

Yes, someone can use your debit card if your PIN was not entered or if the PIN was entered incorrectly. Therefore, you should take care of the security of your bank account in advance.

Do banks reimburse stolen money?

No, banks are not liable for money stolen by skimmers.

Do police investigate debit card theft?

Yes, police investigate debit card theft. Each bank will have a unique process for reporting stolen cards and can also be contacted. They may also ask you to call in case they need any additional information.

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