ATM skimming

What is ATM skimming?

ATM skimming is when someone illegally copies your account details from the magnetic strip on your credit or debit card when you use an ATM. Card skimming can also happen when you use EFTPOS.

The fraudster then uses your details to create a fake or ‘cloned’ card. In most cases, they use the fake card and PIN to withdraw money from an ATM either within Australia or overseas.

Watch our video on ATM skimming to protect yourself and your money.

 Click here to watch our ATM skimming video

How do skimming devices work? 

For ATM skimming, a fraudster attaches a:

  • skimming device over the card entry slot to capture your card details, and
  • a pinhole camera above the keypad or to the side of the keypad to capture your PIN.

For EFTPOS skimming, the thief captures your card details and PIN by replacing a genuine EFTPOS device with a tampered device which looks and works like a normal EFTPOS device.

EFTPOS skimming is difficult to detect and is often not identified until we, or you, find irregular transactions on your account or we find that several affected customers all used the same merchant.

You can take steps to prevent fraud by protecting your account details.

What is the Commonwealth Bank doing to protect my account from ATM skimming? 

We take card skimming very seriously and use leading edge technologies that:

  • detect if someone has attached a skimming device to an ATM — if so our Security Hotline will be immediately notified,
  • monitor and analyse your transactions 24 hours a day — if a suspicious transaction is found, then one of our fraud analysts will contact you to confirm the transaction and prevent any further losses. 

We also constantly monitor both local and international fraud trends to make sure we are aware of the latest scamming developments.

Plus, if your debit card is skimmed, we guarantee to refund any fraudulent transactions that take place within five days from when you report the incident to us.

Warning signs — what should I look out for?

  • Does the ATM look like it normally does – can you see any unusual additions, marks or changes?
  • Are there any signs that someone has tampered with the ATM - can you see any glue residue, exposed wires, pieces of double-sided tape?
  • You notice something suspicious about the card slot on an ATM (e.g. an attached device).
  • A shop assistant takes your card out of your sight to process your transaction.
  • A shop assistant asks you to swipe your card through more than one EFTPOS machine.
  • A shop assistant swipes your card through a different machine to the one you used.
  • You notice unusual or unauthorised transactions on your account or credit card statement.

If you notice any of these warning signs contact your local branch, call 13 2221 or call the police on 000.