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How to avoid ATM Traps

Protect yourself from common threats at the ATM

Protecting Yourself from Common Threats at the ATM

Most of us use ATMs on a regular basis. But just because you're familiar with the machines doesn't mean you should let your guard down. Take a look at some of the ways criminals have used them to steal people's personal banking details.

ATM skimming

Criminals have been known to attach card readers to the card slots on an ATM. When an unsuspecting customer inserts their card into the ATM, the card reader will copy all the account information associated with that card. Other fraudsters will hide pinhole cameras near an ATM and then loosen or remove the PIN shields so they can record you entering your PIN.

Other ATM frauds

It's not always so high tech. Sometimes a criminal will just watch you closely to try and see your PIN as you enter it. Afterwards they might try to distract you, perhaps by telling you that you dropped money or personal belongings. When you look away, they could try to swap your ATM or credit card for a dummy card.


Smart tips

  • Be aware of your surroundings when using an ATM. If there's someone or something suspicious, quickly cancel your transaction.
  • When using an ATM, choose the one that you are familiar or that in well-lit and/or well-guarded areas.
  • Have your card ready before approaching the ATM. Avoid having to go through your wallet or purse to find the card.
  • Refuse help from strangers when using an ATM.
  • Inspect the ATM. If there are signs of tampering, DO NOT proceed with your transaction. Report it to the Bank immediately.
  • If the ATM is not working correctly, cancel the transaction and use a different ATM. If possible, report it to the Bank.
  • If your card is captured and you suspect possible fraud, please report it to us immediately.
  • Carefully secure card and cash in the wallet, handbag, or pocket before leaving the ATM.
  • Do not leave the receipt behind.
  • Do not let other people use your card.

Protect your PIN

  • Memorize your PIN and do not write it down.
  • Choose a PIN that's hard to guess. Avoid using easily available personal information such as birthday, nickname, mother's maiden name or consecutive numbers.
  • Cover the numeric keypad and make sure no one is looking while you are entering your PIN.
  • Never disclose your PIN to anyone.
  • Use different PINs for different channels (ATM, Phone Banking, etc.).

Regularly monitoring your account is important to detect any possible unusual activities

  • Always check your statements.
  • Switch to electronic statements and get your statements faster.
  • Immediately report unusual transactions to us.
  • Sign-up to instant SMS notification so you get updates on movement within your accounts.
  • Register through HSBC Online Banking so you can monitor your accounts anytime.

If you lose your card, call HSBC's Customer Service immediately at (02)88580000 or (02)79768000 from Metro Manila,+180018888555 PLDT domestic toll-free, (country code) +80010085800 international toll-free for selected countries/regions. 

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