ATM fraud fears spread

SARAH HARVEY
Last updated 15:05 09/04/2012

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More bank customers are complaining of fraud after losing money from their accounts over the Easter break.

Banks beagn investigating the possibility of a new ATM scam when more than 60 customers had money taken via a Canadian ATM in the past two days.

This comes after more than a million dollars was scammed from customers using Auckland ATMs in recent weeks when skimming devices were attached that allowed offenders to steal the details of more than 500 bank customers.

The fraudsters reportedly placed skimming machines on ATM card slots and small cameras above the cash machines so they could record PIN numbers.

Police found cash machines in Parnell, Ponsonby, Takapuna, Orewa and Howick had been used in the scam.

BNZ spokeswoman Erica Lloyd said about 30 Eftpos and flexi-debit customers had had money taken from their accounts over the weekend.

Westpac spokesman Chris Mirams said at this stage about 30 credit and debit card customers had been affected and all of the money had been taken out at ATMs in Canada.

Both said it was too early to say whether the banks' ATMs had been skimmed or whether it was another type of fraud.

Lloyd said the problem did not originate from a BNZ cash machine, merchant or system and banks were working together to identify "the common point of compromise".

"All cards at risk have been secured, and customers will be contacted over the next few days to arrange replacement cards," she said.

ASB customers have also lost money. One victim said he had $1500 fraudulently withdrawn over the weekend, and another customer, who said she hadn't used an ATM for more than two months, lost $700.

Both reported the money being withdrawned in Canada over the past two days.

Scam victim Justin Bennett said yesterday he had $350 withdrawn in several transactions from a BNZ business account over the weekend.

A statement showed the transactions had been made in Canada.

''They just emptied it.''

His girlfriend Natasha Young, a Westpac customer, said attempts had been made to withdraw money from an overseas location but Westpac had frozen her account before the money could be withdrawn.

''Apparently they had been trying to scam money off her all night. [Westpac] said a lot of other people were affected as well."

He said the bank told him he would be reissued a card, his account would be frozen and he would be reimbursed.

Lloyd said customers needed to be aware.

''It's important for customers from any bank, any time you use a card, if you notice anything unusual coming up on your statements, contact your bank straight away."

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- Stuff

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