Senate warns public vs ATM fraud

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

MANILA -- A senator urged the public on Wednesday to be more vigilant in withdrawing money from automated teller machines (ATM) as the number of reported fraud cases increased in 2013.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), during a joint committee hearing on the alarming increase of ATM frauds in the country, said they have recorded 1,272 cases in 2013, involving an estimated P220 million, which projects an increase from the P175 million lost in 2012. [Read the related story.]

Senator Grace Poe called on the Philippine National Police (PNP) to intensify efforts in addressing the scam and arrest perpetrators.

"Lahat tayo ninenerbyos 'pag di makakuha ng pera sa ATM. Importante talaga at dapat tiyakin ang seguridad nito para sa kapakanan ng ating mga kababayan," Poe said.

The PNP said among the various modes of ATM fraud include putting a skimming plate on top of keypads to copy personal identification numbers (PIN) of depositors and illegally withdraw money from bank accounts; placing a card reader with a memory chip, which copies data from the ATM card; and installing a camera to acquire the cardholder's PIN code.

The PNP advised the public to follow the precautionary measures of banks and to immediately report unusual activities to the authorities.

Poe said that ATM users should be aware that criminals nowadays know how to take advantage of technology.

The senator also opposed the proposal to decrease the withdrawable amount of money per day, saying it would adversely affect economic activity.

The BSP, meanwhile, said it issued a directive requiring banks to shift from magnetic stripes to chips in producing ATM cards to strengthen their system.

It said that most banks in the country have already installed fraudulent detection inhibitors (FDI) in ATM card slots that would protect a customer's PIN code.

Wednesday's hearing was conducted by the committee on public order and dangerous drugs; committee on banks, financial institutions and currencies; and the committee on trade, commerce and entrepreneurship. (Camille P. Balagtas/Sunnex)

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