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Friday, September 04, 2015

My ATM card got hacked by a skimming device, here’s what to do next

Im a victim of an ATM skimming device
Last August 28, 2015, I shouted on my social media that my Union Bank ATM card was hacked and was copied by an ATM skimming device. These devices copy the magnetic data on the card and also the pin code with the help of a micro camera and skim device that is attached illegally by cyber robbers on some ATM machines.

According to news that the Philippines is the only Asian country that still uses magnetic stripe on ATM, Credit Card and Debit Cards. Magnetic stripes on card are the most easiest to hack accdg to experts.

Ok here’s my story
At first, it was hard to accept it that my ATM card is suspended, I learned about it on August 27th, I went to the mall to withdraw some money in preparation for an upcoming event that I need to attend, I tried to withdraw some money but the BDO ATM machine located in the mall said that my card is suspended, I went to the PSBANK machine and it says the same, and then I went to Security Bank machine, It says the same thing.

I got some cold chills when I read the word “Suspended” on the machine and also on the transaction receipt. Then I went to Jollibee to eat a delicious Champ burger to calm me down.

I went home and then called the customer service of Union Bank, the CSR girl named Hannah told me that my card is suspended and the possible reason is that my ATM card is compromised. The best advice that I received from her is to visit a Union Bank branch and ask for a replacement card and also new pin code.

I asked her to check if there other transaction and how much money remains in my bank account. I told her that my last withdrawal was last August 22 a day before I went to Boracay, I never did some transaction after that and my last withdraw attempt is last August 27th.

She asked for my full details first and then she read all the transaction reports from August 22-27th, she said that there are two deposit checks within the week, my Aug 22 withdraw was done and no other withdrawal transaction happens.

That’s good news to me… I postpone my bank visit on Aug 28th, because I need to go out early to do some Blogger duty on the field, my wife told me to try withdraw again because there are times that bank and ATM are wonky, so I when I was in Resorts World Manila, I did another attempt and I still get the same notice ---- ATM Card is Suspended.

So it double confirms that my ATM is dead for good and unusable.

I asked some friends to treat me for a nice beer after our movie night out, I told them that I have PHP 500 left in my wallet and I borrowed that from my Aunt for emergency, I cant use it to cool me down with a beer, I just need it as my travel budget going in and out of Cavite.

August 31 – Monday is a holiday, so there’s no bank and also there’s a 4 day rally happening in EDSA, so I just stayed home and Im glad that all schedules were postponed for Saturday and also Monday. I don’t have cash on hand, and Im glad that my family and friends helped me to survive.

Im not good when it comes to banking, but this made me realized that I need to be aware and also embraced the knowledge about banking.

This September 4, 2015 --- One week after my ATM scam problems, I went to the nearest Union Bank branch to asked for helped. Bank staff or maybe a manager, Mr. Francisco helped me in fixing the problem, first I told him that I only have one valid ID – my passport and my expired Barangay ID. I tried to apply for a new Barangay ID but I learned that it will take 15 days for the release of the new ID, Im glad that the bank allowed me to ----- withdraw money over the counter and also apply me a new ATM card.

The bank staff was puzzled why is it that my ATM is suspended, because there are no records shown on the system, he told me to try to withdraw some cash in their machine and see if I can get money.

I tried to withdraw….but then the machine captured my card and left me a receipt with the note --- LOST CARD

The bank staff did some computer log using my account and see all the transaction or maybe a system report on whats going on. And then he told me that if the machine says it is suspended and then the card is reported as LOST ---- it means that someone is trying to use my card to do transaction via online or through debit card swipe.

Im so glad that my ATM is one year expired already and this cant be used for online transaction and also for swipe shopping. hahahaha. That hacker really wants to get some cash from my account…so maybe he tried to do more transactions on previous days. I told the bank staff that I don’t do online transaction or shopping to this card.

This made me realize that the ATM skimming device is confirmed again for the 3rd time.

The bank staff helped me apply a new ATM card and help me transact over the counter, I withdrew PHP 10k just to budget myself for the entire week. The bank staff said that my new ATM card will take 1 working weeks before it will be available in their branch. Because my bank account is under investigation and this will be reported to their main office.

I was lucky that this incident didn’t happen during my travel around the country or outside the Philippines. That will be a big headache if ever happen..

Im very thankful that everything is now being fixed by Union Bank.
Thank you so much Union Bank- Talaba, Cavite branch!

Here’s some tips on how you can protect your ATM card when using the machine
1. Cover card with your hand when you insert it into the machine
2. Cover your hand when you do the pin code
3. Cover again your card if the machine releases it and carefully claim it back and cover the entire number of the card
4. You have to do this so that the micro camera installed somewhere can’t read your card face. Because skimming device copies all details of the card and it needs – magnetic data, card numbers and your pin code.

Here’s what to do if your card is a victim of this ATM scam1. Don’t panic
2. Call the customer service and ask for advice
3. Check all transaction and see if there are weird transaction happening, then ask the CSR to freeze your card
4. If you really need money and you happen to learn it during your travel --- go to your respective bank branch and ask them to help you withdraw money over the counter. You only need the --- bank account number and also 1 or 2 valid ID --- use Passport, it’s the most powerful ID ever.
5. Then visit the nearest branch of your bank and ask them to replace and give you a new card

I hope my experience will serve as an awareness to all people who uses ATM card. Especially to bloggers and work at home people who uses these ATM card for their banking.

Lets be careful and don’t be a victim of an ATM scam

Covering your card with your hand is not O.A.
Its okay…its better to be careful than never.

Let me know if you experience the same problems and pls share your blog below for your story Or
just write your experience below the comments in order to inform everyone that ATM skimming device are REAL.


Azrael Coladilla is the blogger and founder of Azrael's Merryland Blog. This blog started as a personal blog in 2003, and then converted the blog into a lifeblog about his interest and reporting about pop culture, lifestyle, entertainment, technology, food, travel, toys, outdoor adventure, internet and social media. Awarded as the 2009 Most Influential Blogger for Luzon, Philippines, awarded by the Philippine Blog Awards. He is the founder of several online communities - Manila Bloggers Network, Philippine Bloggers Network, Oh My Food! community, Cavite Bloggers, Travel and Blog Community, and Philippine ToyCon. Azrael's Merryland Blog is included in a list of top 50 Blogs in the Philippines , ranked 65th in Top 100 Blogs that Matter , 49 must read lifestyle blog in the Philippines. and rank 40th in 100 Top Philippine Blogs by Feedspot.
He loves to travel, explore, discover, eat new food, document and record his life, meet new people, do photography and collects Transformers toys.
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