ATM bank card fraud

  jimmybond 16:27 12 Apr 2006

Just checking my online bank account, I can see that two transactions of £200, plus another of £50 have been fraudulently taken out of my account, from an ATM. I still have my card, so assume that this has been done through some sort of 'skimming' process.
I've reported this to my bank, who have cancelled the card, and are investigating.

Anyway, my question is - are the bank liable for these transactions - am I likely to be refunded the £450 I've now lost?

  Stuartli 17:43 12 Apr 2006

You've probably used an ATM which has had a tiny camera installed using an insert for the card slot.

It's a long standing trick, so you should always be on your guard for any suspicious attachments to the ATM's card slot.

  Stuartli 17:45 12 Apr 2006

These explain what I mean:

click here

click here

click here

You'll get the gist.

  jimmybond 17:48 12 Apr 2006

thanks Stuartli - although I think I know how it happened though, and I've always tried to look out for any such 'devices' (I thought!).

However, what I was really interested in - are the bank liable for these fraudulent transactions, or am I now £450 out of pocket?

  ade.h 18:34 12 Apr 2006

Unless the bank can justifiably claim that you have been negligent in your duty to stay secure, then it will correct the situation in your favour. Banks may try to impart their own policy-based interpretation on what is or is not negligent, so read the T&C, but being stung by a the dodgy ATM trick is not generally considered negligent. You may have noticed that banks have been tightening the definitions a little bit recently, but not drastically so.

  ade.h 18:36 12 Apr 2006

I should add that I am commenting from the point of view of Smile's policy, as that's who I bank with.

  Forum Editor 20:31 12 Apr 2006

because it's cheaper for them - and probably more convenient for you; both parties benefit.

They understand only too well that unless we all have confidence in the ATM system we won't use it, so they'll be understanding, I think. That said, all of us have a duty of diligence when it comes to using card services, and we must take reasonable precautions. If the bank felt that you had acted negligently in not recognising that the machine had been tampered with (most of them have warning notices on them now) they might refuse to reimburse you.

  Confab 23:00 12 Apr 2006

“If the bank felt that you had acted negligently in not recognising that the machine had been tampered with (most of them have warning notices on them now) they might refuse to reimburse you”.

I think that this is an “odd” statement to say the least. I don’t believe that It’s up to the average person to decide if an ATM has been tampered with or not. PIN and ATM fraudsters are very clever people and have taken millions of pounds from banks. The difficulty is separating the genuine fraud from one, which shall I say, might not be so genuine.


  Forum Editor 23:13 12 Apr 2006

You may well think it an 'odd' statement, but it's true. It's up to all of us to exercise a degree of care when we use an ATM. It's a well-known fact that some cash machines have been tampered with, and that's the reason that banks have posted notices on them - warning us to check for evidence of tampering.

Tha fact that we have been warned should make all of us more careful - it's not up to the bank to protect us from our own negligence.

  Confab 23:44 12 Apr 2006

I think that we might have to agree to disagree on this one.

A “degree” of care when using an ATM – How do you explain that one to the average person? You put your card in the slot, type in your PIN, take your card and your cash and that’s it.

So please tell me what should I look for when using an ATM? Perhaps:-

A “strange” ATM slot?

A tiny camera?

A man in a car near the ATM? (maybe with a laptop)

Someone having an argument behind me?

Someone tapping me on the shoulder telling me that I’ve dropped a fiver?

People talking in a foreign language?

Or none of the above because I just want my £20?

I don’t think that I need to tell you that if the banks could stop this type of fraud then it would be stopped overnight.


  Forum Editor 00:35 13 Apr 2006

Yep, you should watch out for all those things, it's your money, for goodness sake. You can't expect someone else to look after every aspect of your life for you. At some point you have to accept a degree of responsibility for your actions, and if you think that the average person is incapable of understanding the meaning of "a degree of care" then there's no hope for us.

Of course the banks would stop ATM related theft if they could, but the fact is that you, as a supposedly responsible citizen have a duty to take resonable care when withdrawing your own cash - not sit back and say "Oh dear, someone stuck a great lump of plastic on the front of the card slot on the ATM, and now my card details have been used by someone else to withdraw £500. Never mind, it's the bank's fault for not mollycoddling me, and the bank will have to give me £500 of its own money. I saw a warning notice stuck right on the front of the machine, but I just wanted my £20, so I ignored it"

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