Skimming on ATM’s — How cards get compromised

Having your cards compromised is not fun. Its unsettling knowing someone has invaded your life in this way and it’s an inconvenience getting everything sorted out after the fact. As a bank we see and hear your frustration when this kind of thing happens so we wanted to take the time to tell you how to avoid it happening and what we do to protect you.

Lost and stolen cards are one thing, but in these days of tech-savvy criminals, sometimes your card can be compromised without you even realising. One way that this can happen is by criminals inserting skimming devices on ATM’s.

Skimming requires a special device to be covertly installed on an ATM or EFTPOS machine to ‘skim’ your card details as you insert it into the reader. Criminals can use this data fraudulently online, or they can make a physical copy of your card to use in stores.

Every time you use a BNZ ATM, our world-leading liquid encryption technology (LENSecure) updates the security information on your card’s magnetic strip. This means that in the unlikely event that someone manages to make a copy of your card, the fake card will be out of date pretty quickly. For more information on LEN see our previous post here.

We’d like to remind you to keep an eye out for skimming devices when you’re using any ATM, BNZ or otherwise. Here are some things to look out for:

  • Check for loose parts – before you put your card in an ATM, give the card reader a jiggle. It shouldn’t move. Look out for anything loose, damaged or crooked. Also check for signs of adhesive like glue or tape around the card reader.
  • Look at the keypad – Sometimes a false keypad will be overlaid on top of the actual keypad to capture your keystrokes. Again, make sure there isn’t anything loose or moving.
  • There is a tasklight above the keypad, if this light is out this can be a sign that it has been tampered with. Please call BNZ and let us know, and we’d recommend not using the ATM.
  • Be cautious of hidden cameras – sometimes a hidden camera will be used in conjunction with a skimming device to record you entering your PIN. Make sure you always cover the PIN pad when entering your PIN to ensure it can’t be seen.

If you suspect something unusual, don’t use the machine and contact BNZ immediately on 0800 286 435 or +64 4 924 0499.