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Skimming incident suspected at Pakuranga Plaza ATM

10 April 2006
Media release – for immediate release

Further skimming incident suspected at Pakuranga Plaza ATM

A third Bank of New Zealand ATM is suspected as having been targeted by skimming fraudsters last month. Information from cards used in the ATM was fraudulently used in Toronto, Canada.

The stand alone machine is located at Pakuranga Plaza – the corner of Ti Rakau Drive and Pakuranga Road – in Auckland’s eastern suburbs.

“We have been advised of suspect transactions on a small number of Bank of New Zealand customer accounts which suggest that fraudulent transactions were conducted offshore. A detailed analysis of the transactions led us back to the Pakuranga ATM,” says Shona Bishop, General Manager Marketing and Business Development.

To date, known losses from the Pakuranga incident, with 60 cards thought to have been compromised, total $49,000.00.

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

Bank of New Zealand has moved quickly to protect the position of its cardholders by blocking the cards known to have been used at the Pakuranga Plaza ATM between 1 and 31 March. Transaction records show 3,498 cards were used in the machine in this timeframe, 2,200 of which belong to Bank of New Zealand cardholders.

The Bank is phoning all affected Bank of New Zealand customers and has advised other banks and Police. Last week the Bank announced the introduction of green sleeve anti-skimming devices across its ATM network.

“Once again, we have taken a very cautious approach in the interests of our customers. We recognise this inconvenience, and to ensure that customers have access to their funds over the Easter weekend we would urge customers to contact the Bank as soon as possible and make arrangements for a new card, which will be provided free of charge.”

“We urge customers who may have used the Pakuranga Plaza ATM between 1 and 31 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.”

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

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.

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, don't use it, and report it to the bank.
- 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 anything 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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