Practical tips to avoid ATM theft. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

CAPE TOWN - As the festive season nears, the bank users tend to be less cautious on ATM usage and card payments due to high shopping activity.

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre's statistics shows a 39.1% increase in lost or stolen debit card fraud which accounted for 56.2% of losses in 2016. This drastic jump is a result of behaviour change from ATM card jamming and swapping to stealing cards and shoulder surfing the pin.

SABRIC CEO, Kalyani Pillay said, “Criminals will always be on the lookout for gaps and weaknesses in order to defraud victims. Fortunately, SABRIC’s collaborative model, as well as the robust risk mitigation measures deployed by its members, position the industry perfectly to tackle card fraud”.

SABRIC understands that high probability of people who will scam your card, are those you have close and daily interactions with.

Standard bank notes the three common ATM crimes being: card skimming, card swapping and vandalism. 

Here are 6 key tips you can take to avoid being affected by ATM robbery:

  • Never reveal your pin to anyone and don't write it down 
  • Shield the keypad with your hand when entering your pin into an ATM
  • Keep your daily cash withdrawal to a minimum
  • Never accept help from strangers
  • Only use ATMs in well-lit and high traffic
  • Make sure the card you get back from the ATM is yours.
Be vigilant, watch this:

Theunis Duvenhage, Head of Devices for Personal and Business Banking at Standard Bank, South Africa admitted that ATM-related crimes affect both the company and the bank users. " We consider ATMs a critical part of our omni-channel offering, and disruption has consequence that impacts customer service and experience."

Duvenhage added that to mitigate the risk of any transactions on your account without your knowledge, Standard Bank offers MyUpdates – a free service that alerts you via SMS and emails of all activities on your account, a 24-hour available call centre to report crime and lastly a  stop card functionality. 

Lee-Anne van Zyl, CEO of FNB Points of Presence said, "The bank views all incidents of criminality in an extremely serious light and where incidents are brought to our attention, we conduct a rigorous investigation and work with the South African Police Service to bring the perpetrators to book".