Ukrainians are already used to withdraw money from ATM using bankcards. We trust ATM machines so much that often choose not to print the bill confirming the operation. The more we trust the system, the more frauds appear. Banks install the newest protection systems, but the very Ukrainians also should take elementary precaution measures.  

According to specialists, the minimal precaution measure is to observe the picture on an ATM. Before inserting your card, make sure the aspect of the device corresponds to the picture. However, it does not give you 100% guarantee of security. Thus, ForUm has decided to find out what are the measures to take to protect your money from frauds.

What is the problem...

One of the high-tech methods of operating sometimes called card skimming or card cloning involves the installation of a magnetic card reader over the real ATM's card slot and the use of a wireless surveillance camera or a modified digital camera or a false PIN keypad to observe the user's PIN. Card data is then cloned into a duplicate card and the criminal attempts a standard cash withdrawal.

"In 2012 there were 80 skimming devices found on ATM machines. In 2011 the number was 45. Indeed, the number of frauds doubled, but the situation is not that sad as in neighboring Russia, for example, where 2071 devices were found in 2012 and the fraud growth made 422% comparing to 2011," Olesya Danylchenko, head of the interbank forum on bankcard security, informed. According to her, 1.5 devices account for every 10 thousand ATM machines in Ukraine.

Internet frauds have also become popular lately. "The level of cybercrimes has grown threefold comparing to 2011. The data leakage happens mostly due to software viruses on the computer of a client," the expert noted and added that 75% of stolen means have been returned to Ukrainians thanks to the work of the Interior Ministry department. "139 cases on Internet frauds were opened last year, and the sum of returned means made 87 million hryvnias," deputy head of the Interior Ministry department on cybercrimes Leonid Tymchenko informed. According to his data, the total sum of losses for banking operations frauds made 116 million hryvnias in 2012.

At the same time, do not forget about banal picking. People keep bankcards in purses or wallets, thus, stealing your bag a thief gets access to your cash and bankcard. Having just the card the thief will have hard time to access your account. But if you keep your pin-code next to your card or even written on the card, probably only Robin Hood will not use the opportunity.

To fight various frauds bankcard owners are recommended to take "preventive" measures. Simple carefulness and respect for money will help you to keep your account safe.

What to do?

"Thieves are interested first of all in magnetic stripe and pin-code. They also need the card number, first and last name and three-digit code on the other side of the card. This data is easy to obtain as it is written write on the card," Oleh Matata, head of the information security department of a commercial bank, says. For these reasons, bankcard owners should limit the access of third persons to the card. "When you pay a bill in a cafe, you do not give your wallet to a waiter so he can take as much money as needed. Your simply count necessary amount of money and hand it to the waiter. So, why would you give you card? You should not believe that this waiter would not d something illegal. To get your personal information it is enough to memorize your data or to take pictures of both sides of the card. Following your card is your direct obligation," the expert believes.

Besides, you should invent a better way to keep your pin-code than to carry it next to your card. To have the pin-code within reach is very convenient, but if you have your bag stolen, the chances are you will have zero balance on your account very soon.

"My wife always keeps pin-codes together with the cards and I cannot break her of this habit. I understand it is convenient for her, but once when we were on vacation thieves entered into our room and stole our mobiles and her purse with cards and pin-codes inside. A good thing is that the day before the trip I ordered new cards and simply did not have time to give her hers," Oleh Marata gave an example. The expert recommends using regularly such bank service as card updating. It should be done once in one-two years and every time before a foreign trip. If your card has been stole, you should call your bank immediately and block it. "For this you should have the phone number of your bank at hand," the expert says.

In his opinion, a client should always be in contact with his bank, as such financial structures have proper protection systems. "Banks can trace unusual operations and temporary block the card. Then the bank will call the client to verify whether this or that operation was made by him and unblock the card."

Among other protective measures, Oleh Matata names establishment of limits. "You should set an uncritical for your family limit, meaning to define a sum, disappearance of which will not hit your budget," he recommends. The protective measures also include SMS-banking service, when you inform the bank about every operation by SMS. "Everybody must use this service!" Matata says.

Risk mitigation

To protect your money you should take care of your personal data. For this, update regularly anti-virus software on your computer and mobile, cover the panel when typing the pin-code, do not use an ATM with auxiliary illumination or suspicious devices installed in it, regularly control your banking operations and keep your pin-code far from your card.

Tetyana Hryhoriyeva


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