WARNING TO ALL ATM USERS! THIS HAPPENED TO ME PERSONALLY JUST 2 WEEKS AGO! MY WHOLE SAVINGS WAS WIPED OUT BECAUSE OF AN ATM SKIMMING DEVICE!
Yesterday afternoon, March 12, 2013, I logged on to my online banking and discovered that my savings account was zeroed out. When I saw the 0.00 balance, I couldn’t believe it. I immediately looked at the transaction history. To my surprise, I discovered several consecutive ATM withdrawals of P20,000-25,000 each over a period of 2 days, until my funds were completely wiped out. I thought to myself:
“That’s impossible because I never made any withdrawals since I was going to use this to pay for my son’s tuition, and that’s weird because I have my ATM card with me, it has always been in my wallet and I NEVER LOST IT. I see it everyday whenever I open my wallet.”
That’s when I rushed to the phone and called the bank to inform them of what happened (thanks so much to my old friends back in my bank where I used to work). We looked through my transaction history and they asked me to identify the last withdrawal that I remember making. It was the withdrawal I made last Feb 23, 2013, done in an ATM terminal in the Venice Piazza, McKinley Hill. The subsequent withdrawals after that were ALL fraudulent. They were all done just a few seconds apart, over a period of 2 days (from March 2 at past 9pm and March 3 at past 5pm). I have reported this to my bank, and to the ATM’s bank so that they can check on this particular terminal. I’m assuming it’s this one that compromised my card because it’s the only ATM machine I’ve used that’s out of the ordinary. But I may be wrong.
I gave the banks the exact time and date of all transactions so they can check their cctv. Can you imagine, I withdrew on that machine last Feb 23 and I only reported it yesterday, March 12, that the machine has been compromised. How many people have used that machine in a span of 17 days??? These syndicates have probably robbed millions!
Moral of the story is — never ever use an ATM machine that is not inside bank premises!!!!
I’ve been a banker for the past 7 years of my life and have always been careful with the ATM machines that I use. I always check the machine before using it, to see if there’s any suspicious looking device attached to it. In this case, the terminal looked absolutely normal. I usually only withdraw inside the bank where I work, but for this one instance I had to withdraw in a stand-alone machine inside a mall, and look what happened. All my money for my son’s tuition wiped out in a snap. I’m still in shock, and still find it so ironic that it happened to me, when I’m the one who always cautions my family as to what ATM machine to use. I used to just see this on TV, but never thought it could ever happen to me. Please be vigilant, and please listen to my advice if you don’t want your hard earned money and life savings wiped out in a snap. NEVER USE ATM MACHINES OUTSIDE BANK PREMISES. Don’t be fooled by malls saying they have top security. This is Venice Piazza for Pete’s sake! A high end mall! And this has been happening right under their nose! I can honestly tell you, after this, I AM NEVER USING AN ATM MACHINE OUTSIDE THE BANK EVER AGAIN. I may even just go back to the old-fashioned way of transacting through the teller. Please share to your family, friends and loved ones.
Below are a couple of forms of ATM Skimming Devices / Cameras to capture your ATM Cards and Pin Numbers. Do note that there are surely more kinds of these devices not known yet and thus, you just need to be careful.
Contributed from a WhenInManila.com friend who wishes to be unnamed