Protect yourself from card fraud

Our debit and credit cards are one of the main ways we access our accounts and money on a day-to-day basis. Because of this, they can become a target for fraudsters.

Through a wide range of methods they can attempt to access your card, PIN and other details so that they can use your account.

Here are some examples, and ways you can protect your account and card from scammers.

Cash machine fraud

  • Skimming

    A skimming device is an attachment that fraudsters add to cash machines, so that they can obtain your card information.

    The device is normally quite small, and sits on top of the usual slot where you put your card. The fraudster can also insert a pinhole camera somewhere on the cash machine or lay a false keypad over the genuine one, all to capture you entering your PIN.

    Keep it safe

    When you approach a cash machine, have a look around – check for any obvious signs of tampering at the top of the ATM, near the speakers, the side of the screen, the card reader itself and the keyboard. If something looks off or different - that could be a different colour or material, graphics that aren’t aligned properly or anything that just doesn’t look quite right – do not use the cash machine and report it to the police.

    When you're entering your PIN, always assume there is someone looking, whether that’s over your shoulder or through a camera. Always cover the keypad with your hand when you enter your PIN.

  • Card entrapment

    An alternative to a card skimmer is a card trap.

    This is placed inside the card slot, so that the card won’t come out. The machine may seem to be taking a long time to complete your transaction, show an error message or both.

    Someone may approach you, telling you the same thing happened to them and that you just have to try a different card for it to work – this is so they can get your PIN.

    As soon as you leave the area, the fraudsters remove the trap from the machine – taking your card with them.

    Keep it safe

    If your card is ever retained by a cash machine, call your bank or card issuer immediately – so they can block the card from use. Do not wait until the bank opens to get your card back – always block it straight away. It helps to have your bank’s emergency 24-hour reporting number with you or saved on your phone. Ours can be found here.

    You can also block and reorder cards through eBanking or your Mobile App at any time.

  • Shoulder surfing

    ‘Shoulder surfing’ is one of the ways a fraudster can obtain your PIN, just by glancing over your shoulder as you make your transaction. They’ll then either trap your card in the machine or steal it from you as you walk away. Be wary of crowded or busy machines, or anything there to try to distract you.

    Keep it safe

    As we mentioned, always cover your PIN. Even if there is no one around, even if the cash machine looks normal, always cover your PIN and don’t make the numbers you’re entering obvious. Something as small as holding your hand, purse or wallet over the keypad can stop a fraudster in their tracks.

Card safety

  • Unexpected and unusual contact

    This can either be a one-off, or come through as constant nuisance calls to your phone. Fraudsters will attempt to stir a panic in you so that you will reveal your card details over the phone. Once they have these, they’ll start trying to make online purchases and may phone again asking you to reveal one time passwords sent through to your phone for online purchases they are making.

    The caller may seem to know a lot of information about you – they might even know the first six digits of your bank card. Don’t be alarmed or impressed, the first six digits are Bank Identification Numbers (simply, they are how we label our different card types) and they are not unique to your card.

    Keep it safe

    Remember, your bank will never ask you to reveal PINs, the numbers from your credit or debit card, your 3-digit card security code or unique one time passwords from 3D Secure. 

    3D Secure passwords will only ever be sent to your phone if you’ve made an online purchase yourself, if you haven’t made a purchase and receive a code, you should always let us know.

  • Always be aware of where your cards are

    Keep them with you everywhere you go.

    Keep it safe

    Never hand over a card, particularly if you’re paying using contactless, and never leave it behind a bar or hotel reception “for a deposit”. As part of your card agreement, you must be the sole user of your card and it should never be out of your possession. If it is ever lost or stolen, we have a 24-hour reporting number and you should contact us immediately.

  • Know where your card details are held

    For example, if you have downloaded apps for your child or have given them card details for gaming.

    Card details saved in places you’ve forgotten like children’s games, could see bills rocket if your child is tempted by a bumper pack or two to help their play!

    Remember your card agreement – only you can use the card. If you need assistance or someone to help you use your card, please contact us.

    Keep it safe

    Delete your card details after initial registration for games, apps, phones or other tech.

  • Is it too good to be true?


    Ever see a message like this? Either through social media or email?

    There is often a long list of terms and conditions that go alongside these straight-forward looking deals. Often, if it’s too good to be true – it probably is!

    Maybe you’ll be asked only to pay a small amount for delivery of your free sample, or maybe you’ll have found an incredible deal, or maybe even you could have seen a really good price on a Facebook or Instagram product.

    Keep it safe

    Always read the full terms and conditions and the small print – often days, weeks, months or even years after your initial small payment, you will be hit with unexpected additional costs. It could be a delivery cost, a fee for the cancellation process or monthly and yearly subscriptions to products that you can’t get out of – they’re all normally hidden within pages and pages of terms and conditions or in very small print.

  • Be aware of your banking information

    Signs of fraudulent activity normally start with transactions that have not been completed by you.

    Keep it safe

    Keep an eye on your account and monitor all transactions coming through it – if something seems unusual, call us straight away to report. This can be done either by looking through your monthly statements, on online banking or our app, or through mini statements at cash machines.

    Always be aware of where your bank information ends up – statements, receipts and documents should be stored carefully or shredded and destroyed.

Suspect something?

If you suspect fraud, an unauthorised transaction or misuse of your eBanking or Mobile Bank access, you should contact us immediately.

Report fraud or phishing

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