Banks step up efforts to secure ATMs vs scammers

Posted at 02/13/2013 6:09 PM | Updated as of 02/13/2013 6:09 PM

MANILA, Philippines - BDO Unibank and Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co (Metrobank) are stepping up efforts to protect its customers and secure its automated teller machines (ATM), after an international syndicate has reportedly been withdrawing money from ATM accounts of bank customers using card skimming devices.

In a statement, BDO said they have been working with the authorities to protect its clients and the public. The Henry Sy-led bank emphasized the fraud-related problems are an industry-wide problem and not just limited to BDO and its systems.

"We have taken steps as early as 3rd quarter of 2012 to secure our ATMs from such fraud attempts, such as installation of pin pad shields, use of enhanced card bezels, and daily inspections. Notwithstanding the above mentioned, we are taking extra measures that will allow us to detect and prevent fraudulent transactions as they occur like the constant security monitoring on transactions coming from identified high-risk countries," BDO said.

Metrobank said it has been taking steps as early as 2011 to make its ATMs more resistant to fraud.

"These include measures to prevent fraud perpetrators from copying the card information and capturing the PIN (Personal Information Number) sequence," Mark Perez, Head of the Retail Banking Group of Metrobank, saidin a statement.

BDO and Metrobank urged their customers to take the necessary precautions when using ATMs.

"But to be fully effective against this global modus operandi, we cannot over-emphasize the importance of customer vigilance, especially in protecting their PINs," Perez said.

BDO said customers should take the following precautionary actions:

  • Transactors at any ATM should make it a habit to cover their hand when entering their ATM PIN.
  • Regular habit of changing the PIN
  • Avoiding the use of ATMs in high-risk areas

BDO said ATM account holders should contact its branches if any to contact our branches should they notice some irregularities so that we can act on resolving these quickly to minimize inconvenience.