Thursday, 6 June 2013

Stop the card and PIN thieves

Tips for evading the cash machine con merchants.

What they often do is look over your shoulder, usually the left shoulder, to see you tapping in your PIN - that's why it's called shoulder-surfing.

Then they dodge round to your right hand side and distract you when the machine gives you back your card. And they take it.

Distraction techniques include: shoving a leaflet in front you and above the card slot, engaging you in a spurious conversation, telling you that you've dropped something.

So what can you do?

1. Shield your PIN, with your other hand or with something you can hold.

2. Make a habit of using cash machines inside branches. They're safer.

3. Choose a more difficult PIN, one that is hard to take in at a glance.

4. It still has to be easy to remember - so you never feel the need to write it down.

5. Consider including numbers in the bottom right-hand corner of the keypad, such as 6,8 and 9, because they're harder to see if a thief is looking over your left shoulder.

6. If people are hanging around the cash machine, go and find another one.

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