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Further precautionary measures for BNZ ATMs

11 April 2006

Further precautionary measures for Bank of New Zealand ATMs

Based on offending patterns and information provided by Police, Bank of New Zealand believes that a particular make of ATM machine in Auckland may have been at risk of skimming fraud.

The six Bank of New Zealand Diebold (Model 1072) ATMs, located at New Lynn, Silverdale, Pakuranga, Cnr Queen and Victoria Streets, and Manurewa have all now been replaced. A stand-alone machine, located on Ponsonby Road, has now been removed.

While to date suspicious transactions have been detected only on accounts of customers using the New Lynn and Pakuranga ATMs, the Bank is carefully monitoring transactions from cardholders who used any of these six machines during March.

Due to concerns relating to the Ponsonby, Cnr Queen and Victoria Streets, and Manurewa ATMs the Bank has taken the following two precautionary actions:

- To block overseas usage of Bank of New Zealand cards used in these three machines during March, in light of yesterday’s incidence of fraudulent transactions in Canada

- Contacting customers - who have used these three machines during March – to have their cards replaced over coming weeks

Customers are still able to use their ATM cards for New Zealand-based transactions. Cards have not been blocked for domestic use, and will be replaced progressively.

Customers who may have used these machines and are planning to travel overseas in the near future are encouraged to contact a Bank of New Zealand branch and make arrangements for a replacement card to be issued.

“No fraud has been detected to date on the accounts of customers who have used these three machines at Ponsonby, Queen & Victoria St and Manurewa. We have taken this precautionary step to minimise the risk to customers and at the same time provide as much flexibility and convenience as possible as the Easter weekend approaches,” says Shona Bishop, Bank of New Zealand General Manager, Marketing and Business Development.

The Bank has a further 15 Diebold (Model 1072) ATMs located outside of Auckland, and as a further precautionary measure aims to replace all Diebolds nationally by April 19.

Ms Bishop says that the evidence strongly suggests that the recent skimming incidents are an Auckland problem, but never-the-less, the Bank is maintaining vigilance across its ATM network and in particular on all Diebold machines.
“While the fraudsters have targeted this make and model of machine this time, international experience shows that all ATMs are at risk.”

“In Australia alone more than $1 million is reported to have been skimmed from ATMs in the last nine months and ATM skimming losses in the United Kingdom totalled around £66m last year. We have taken every possible step to protect customers’ interests and customers can continue to use our ATM machines with confidence.”

“No Bank of New Zealand customer will be out-of-pocket as a result of the skimming incidents,” says Ms Bishop.

In the event of any transaction irregularities Bank of New Zealand customers should phone 0800 275 269 or visit a Bank of New Zealand branch. Customers of other banks are advised to contact their bank.


Fact Sheet – Skimming

Since fraudulent ATM transactions were confirmed in late March Bank of New Zealand has taken every precaution to protect customer accounts. These include:

- Securing and changing out ATMs believed to have been at risk

- Cancelling cards used in March at the three ATMs where there was evidence of fraud or of a skimming device (New Lynn, Silverdale, Pakuranga)

- As a consequence of yesterday’s report of international card usage the Bank blocked the international functionality of Bank of New Zealand cards used on the three remaining Auckland Diebold 1072 ATM machines (Ponsonby, Cnr Queen and Victoria Streets, and Manurewa)

- Commenced a programme to install “green sleeve” anti skimming devices on all 450 Bank of New Zealand ATMs throughout the country, expected to be completed within two months

- Heightened monitoring of ATM transactions nationally to help identify potential fraud

- Stepped up security at all Bank ATMs; and educating staff and customers on ATM skimming fraud

Bank of New Zealand continues to work with the banking industry on ensuring the best possible level of security for New Zealand’s 2300 ATM machines.

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, or looking over your shoulder
- 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.

ENDS

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