ATM distraction fraud

Fraudsters continue to find new ways to commit ATM fraud, but the outcome is still the same – the distraction scam involves diverting the user’s attention away from the ATM in order to find out their PIN and then steal their card. Fraudsters using this method may offer assistance or pretend to have a problem.

If you think you have fallen victim to this type of fraud or something similar, please use your Weatherbys card app to temporarily block your card from being used. If you do not have the Weatherbys card app, please visit the App Store or Google Play Store.

What to watch out for

Fraudsters will typically follow these methods of distraction in order to obtain both your card and your PIN:

  • Whilst trying to complete an ATM transaction, somewhere nearby a fraudster will be watching you whilst you input your PIN.
  • The fraudster will look to distract you by dropping something, interrupting you or offering their assistance with your transaction.
  • The fraudster may prompt you to input your PIN again before advising that your card has been swallowed/the machine is broken.
  • Once you have left the ATM thinking that your card has been swallowed, the fraudster will eject your card and go on to use both the card and PIN elsewhere.
  • If the card has been returned, there is a possibility that an accomplice swapped your card with a fake whilst you were distracted, and your card and PIN will still go on to be used elsewhere.

How to avoid falling for these scams

  • Always cover the keypad whenever you use your card to avoid your PIN being compromised, whether that be by a fraudster or a hidden camera that has been placed on the machine.
  • Make sure you are aware of those who may be standing too close to you. Never let anyone distract you at a cash machine. If you hear an ‘excuse me’ or ‘is this yours?’, stay focused and only respond once you have completed your transaction.
  • If your card won’t eject from the cash machine, call us while you are still standing by the machine. If you have the Weatherbys card app, use it immediately to temporarily block your card. Do not walk off, accept help from a stranger or go into the bank to talk to the staff – this can allow a fraudster to move in and steal your card. If you are calling outside of our office hours, our 24/7 support team will be able to assist with blocking your card.
  • If you are ever distracted at a cash machine, check the details on your card to make sure nobody has switched it with a similar one.

What action should you take?

  • If you do not already have the Weatherbys card app, download it from the App Store or Google Play Store. If you feel your card has been compromised, you can block it immediately using the app.
  • You can also call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and we will be able to block your card. In office hours contact your Private Banking Team, otherwise call +44 (0)1933 543 600.