Customers scammed by skimmers

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BANK customers are being warned to watch out for skimming devices being fitted to some Mornington Peninsula branch ATMs.

A Bendigo Bank customer at Dromana got a shock to find her savings account “cleaned out” on Monday last week and immediately posted a warning on her Facebook page.

Katrina Cooper, of Dromana, told friends to make sure the light was flashing over the card insert slot “otherwise it may have a skimming device” and also to cover the keypad with their hands when keying in PIN numbers.

“People need to know for their own security,” she said. “My card had been copied and used in Sydney to steal $1100 – it just vanished.”

Ms Cooper heard about the theft from the Mornington branch of the bank, where staff had spotted the dubious transaction. “They were fantastic,” she said. “They asked if I needed any money while things were getting sorted; if they could do anything to help in the meantime.”

She said another customer had also been skimmed on the same day.

A Bendigo Bank spokeswoman said fraud monitoring strategies were aimed at “preventing, detecting and reacting to skimming”.

“The bank takes these events very seriously and cooperates with industry partners and police to combat fraud,” she said. “We encourage customers to be mindful of their surroundings when making a transaction and, if they notice any suspicious behaviour or devices at, or around, the ATM, they should stop the transaction.”

Many ATMs now have privacy shields to cover PINs.

“Customers should be cautious when entering their PIN if the terminal has not been fitted with one,” she said. “We recommend they use their spare hand to cover their PIN entry.”

The spokeswoman said customers should take care not to let their card leave their sight when making a purchase in a store.

“They should never allow their card to be swiped through a device other than the EFTPOS terminal.”

Bendigo Bank customers should call 1300 236 344 if they have any concerns or queries, or if they notice any unusual activity on their account.

Rye, Dromana and Rosebud Community Bank branches senior manager Gary Sanford said there were “not many instances” of skimming.

“If customers have concerns they should contact their branch immediately,” Mr Sanford said.

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 26 May 2015

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