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BNZ: Second possible ATM skimming incident

30 March 2006
Media release – for immediate release

Bank of New Zealand advises of second possible ATM skimming incident

As part of a systematic inspection of its ATM machines Bank of New Zealand this afternoon became aware of evidence that a further ATM machine situated at Silverdale may have been tampered with.

The stand-alone ATM machine is located at 4 Silverdale Street, Silverdale, on Auckland’s North Shore.

Bank of New Zealand has moved quickly to block the cards of its cardholders known to have conducted transactions at the Silverdale ATM between 1 and 30 March. Transaction records show 1,443 cards were used in the machine in this timeframe, 379 of which are Bank of New Zealand cardholders.

The Bank is working this evening to phone all affected Bank of New Zealand customers and has advised other banks and Police.

“Again, we have taken a very cautious approach in the interests of customers. Apart from the physical evidence of tampering in Silverdale we have had no reports from customers of suspicious transactions or account irregularities at this time,” says Shona Bishop, General Manager Marketing and Business Development.

“We recognise this inconvenience for customers, and we’ll make every effort to make sure that customers have access to their funds over the weekend.

“We would encourage customers who may have used this ATM between 1 and 30 March to review their recent transactions to ensure their accounts have not been compromised. In the event of any irregularities Bank of New Zealand customers should phone 0800 275 269. Customers of other banks are advised to contact their bank.

“No Bank of New Zealand customer will suffer any loss as a result of this incident,” says Ms Bishop.

Ms Bishop says that all New Zealand banks are treating the issue seriously, and are maintaining close contact and co-operation on the subject.

Bank of New Zealand stepped up efforts to secure its ATM network throughout the country earlier this month following a report of a skimming device having been affixed to its New Lynn branch ATM machine. No such device was found.

Measures the Bank is taking to protect customers include: increasing the number of ATM inspections per day; increasing physical security presence; advising staff on things to look out for and in some cases, turning the machines off at night.

The Bank is also investigating a number of additional measures, including enhanced technology, to protect ATMs and customers.

Skimming devices are used by sophisticated criminals to harvest the PIN number and magnetic strip details from credit and ATM cards. This information is used to produce a fake card, providing access to customer accounts.

The affected cards have been blocked and can no longer be used. Customers should visit their nearest Bank of New Zealand branch to arrange for a new card to be issued. This will be provided free of charge.

To avoid ATM fraud cardholders should take the following precautions at all times:

- Keep PIN numbers safe and don't reveal a PIN to anyone.
- Be wary of people trying to offer "help" at an ATM.
- Look at the ATM before using it. If it doesn't look right, for instance don't use it, report it.
- When entering your PIN, use your hand to block anyone from viewing the numbers you use.
- If an ATM has any unusual signage, don't use it. No bank would hang a sign that says, "Swipe your ATM here before inserting it in the card reader" or something to that effect.
- If a card is not returned after the transaction or after pressing cancel, immediately contact the institution that issued it.
- Check bank statements to be sure there are no unusual transactions.


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