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What do I need to know about ATM skimming?

See all Security FAQs

Last updated 11 April 2014

Skimming is a method used by criminals to capture data from the magnetic stripe on the back of the ATM card. The devices used are smaller than a deck of cards and are often fastened in close proximity to or over the top of an ATM's card reader. Once captured, the information can be re-encoded onto another blank or stolen card.

What is 'PIN capturing'?
PIN capturing is where criminals strategically attach cameras and various other imaging devices to or close by an ATM to record the user's PIN. You can protect your PIN from being captured by always covering the key pad when you use an ATM or EFTPOS terminal.

How can I protect myself in the future?
To minimise the likelihood of being an ATM crime victim, get to know the appearance of the ATMs you regularly use. We recommend that you watch our Skimming Awareness Video and you can also refer to the information available on the Commonwealth Bank website, which includes a link to images of skimming devices.

In summary, specific actions to take include: 
•     Being aware of protruding box-like objects covering the ATM card reader. 
•     Inspecting the front of the ATM for anything of a non-standard appearance that could indicate tampering (e.g. scratches, marks, adhesive or tape residues). 
•     Paying attention to all the touch and action points - look at the card reader entry slot and regions immediately above the consumer display and keyboard area for anything unusual. 
•     When you proceed to use the ATM, always cover the key pad to protect your PIN.

Is there any other action I need to take?
We recommend you check your account statements immediately. If you find any unauthorised transactions, please advise the Bank by calling 13 2221 or by visiting any Commonwealth Bank branch.

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