Ask Us: How do banks prevent ATM fraud?

Published 12:05 am Monday, April 27, 2015

Question: The news is full of warnings to ATM users at banks nationwide.  We’re asked to inspect the card reader, jiggle it, etc. to determine nothing has been placed inside to compromise our information. Why isn’t this the banks’ responsibility?  Surely ATMs are serviced and refilled regularly, and many banks employ security guards who could check them hourly and first thing in the mornings. What’s the banks’ take on this?

Edith Julian

Answer: In the case of one local bank, inspections are performed on ATMs regularly to check for devices commonly called skimmers.

“We have routine and random physical inspections of our ATMs done by multiple, different parties,” said F&M Bank Executive Steve Fisher. “We also have a comprehensive video surveillance system on each of the ATMs.”

He said inspections are performed by bank staff, security groups and third-party providers.

Fisher said other opportunities for similar types of fraud exist and are more prone to skimming devices than bank ATMs.

“I know our bank and I think I can speak for our industry when I say there’s a good job done of inspecting machines,” Fisher said. “But our machines are not the only ones you put a card in. We try to keep our clients aware it can occur at the gas pump, at non-bank ATMs and even at some of the point of sale terminals and make sure they’re acting safe.”

F&M Bank ATMs recently received new card readers, Fisher said. He said the change required signs and notices to tell customer that the different look was a bank project and not related to fraud.

Fisher said fraudulent card readers haven’t been found at F&M Bank ATMs but have occurred to some of his customers at non-bank terminals.

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