An experienced card thief reveals the tricks they use to steal your bank card at an ATM.


ATMs make it possible for consumers to draw cash and transact 24 hours a day.

However, they come with risks. Criminals have devised various scams to steal money from ATM users, including card skimming, shoulder surfing, card swapping, and trapping cards.

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) warned that millions of rand is stolen each year through ATM card scams.

eNCA’s CheckPoint interviewed one of the criminals involved in ATM card fraud, also known as Card-Card, to learn more about the practice.

How targets are selected

According to the scammer, they target ATM users who seem distracted and then offer their assistance.

The card stealing criminals do not differentiate on race, age, or gender. “As long as we can take your card and steal your PIN, you are a target,” he said.

Because of the amount of money he makes – up to R15,000 per day – he does not feel much guilt about his actions.

Have a look at eNCA’s CheckPoint interview here.

How to protect yourself at an ATM

Sabric provided the following tips to protect yourself when drawing money at an ATM.

  • Do not ask anyone to assist you at the ATM.
  • Do not insert your card if the screen layout is not familiar to you.
  • Don’t use ATMs where the card slot, keypad, or screen has been tampered with.
  • Don’t let anyone stand close to you while you use an ATM.
  • If you are disturbed whilst transacting at an ATM, your card may be skimmed. Cancel the transaction immediately and report the incident using your bank’s Stop Card number.
  • If you have been disturbed whilst transacting, change your PIN or stop the card.



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