Banks warn clients anew against ATM skimming
Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman) - September 23, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Bank clients are being warned to be more wary when making withdrawals from automated teller machines (ATM).

The Cebu Bankers Club issued Tuesday an advisory telling ATM users how to avoid being victimized by card-skimming and theft.

"It (ATM skimming) is an illegal copying of information from the magnetic stripe of the ATM card through a skimming device," CBC said. "Scammers use the information stolen to access the account; manufacture counterfeit; and use it online."

CBC President Maximo Eleccion told The FREEMAN yesterday they want Cebu bank clients to be more proactive following recent incidents in Manila of unauthorized withdrawals linked to skimming.

Eleccion though confirmed no reports have so far been reported in Cebu regarding such fraudulent act.

CBC advised the public to use ATMs in banks and malls because these are less likely to have been installed skimming device. The public should also make sure security cameras are installed on the ATMs, it said.

"Never divulge your PIN to anyone or let somebody withdraw for you. Change your PIN regularly (monthly is recommended)," the advisory read.

Cebu bankers also told the public to be familiar with the ATM's physical look. "Use the same ATM unless it's absolutely necessary to use another one. That way, you are familiar with how it looks and you can tell if something is out of place."

In a separate advisory, the CBC also warned people against phishing, a fraud act which usually asks for financial information -- such as PIN, account number, log in IDs and password -- through emails. It can also be done through mobile messages, chat rooms, fake banner ads and fake job search sites.

"Do not reply to email that requests financial information, even if it appears to be from a trusted source," the club advised. It further gives tips to avoid from being victimized such as: to never use email to share personal information; to disregard any links in suspicious emails or instant messages; and to use security programs to protect one's computer.

CBC said: "Check your credit report and financial statements regularly and make sure no unauthorized transactions have been made and that all items on your statement are correct."

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas had already ordered banks to put in place measures that would protect their clients from fraudulent emails or websites. The central bank had expressed concern that failure to address such incidents might derail the public's trust on the financial system particularly on the use of online banking. (FREEMAN)

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