Cebu board asks banks to take steps vs ATM fraud

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CEBU CITY—The provincial board of Cebu has asked banks in the province to take steps to prevent automated teller machine (ATM) card fraud after a case of ATM fraud was reported in this city.

The board, on Feb. 18, passed a resolution appealing to banks to implement measures against ATM fraud, which is believed to be the work of international crime syndicates.

The resolution, authored by Board Member Jude Thaddeus Durano Sybico, said banks and bank clients should be protected against high-tech schemes to defraud them through their ATM cards.

The syndicates install card readers in ATM machines that are able to capture details of ATM cards that are inserted into the machines. They also make use of small cameras that capture PIN codes as these are entered by bank clients.

Armed with these highly confidential details, the syndicates are able to produce duplicate cards and withdraw money from their victims’ accounts.

A case of ATM fraud was reported in the city last year. Christine Chua, head of Cebu Bankers’ Club, said a card-skimming device was found in October that year in one ATM machine in a mall.

Chua said banks are advised to closely inspect ATM machines regularly. Banks usually check ATM machines at least thrice a week if the terminals are in places not frequented by people.

ATM machines are checked at least twice a day in busy places like malls.

Chua said depositors are also advised to check the machines first before using these. She said people using ATM machines should make sure no one sees their PIN code.

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