Author: Jason Moffat

Card and ATM Security – Keeping your money safe

The Greater’s Corporate Risk and Security Manager, Jason Moffat, shares some tips on what you can do when using credit and debit cards to help us keep your money safe and secure.

Credit cards and ATM cards have become such a common and useful part of our lives that it is easy to be complacent and overlook the importance of staying vigilant when it comes to their security.

1. Your personal card and account security

  • Memorise your Personal Identification Number (PIN) and don’t use the same one for all your cards. Don’t choose your birth date or another easily identifiable number that might be on something else in your wallet or purse.
  • Sign your cards as soon as you receive them.
  • When using a card don’t let it out of your sight at anytime – even at a restaurant or shop. Check both paper and on-line statements and contact your financial institution immediately if you see anything unusual.
  • Never give your card number to people who call you that  are not already known to you(telemarketers). No genuine financial institution will call and request card, password or PIN details EVER.

2.   Look out for ATM “Skimming” Devices

“Skimming” refers to offenders using a card-reading device to illegally obtain the information stored on the magnetic stripe of a credit or debit card. Highly organised criminal gangs occasionally target ATMs with such devices both in Australia and abroad.

Once the offenders have the information from the card and PIN they can create a counterfeit card and access an account without your authority or knowledge. This spending can commence anywhere from 4 hours to 6 months or more after your details were captured.

The Greater trains its staff to detect such tampering and conducts regular checks of all its ATMs. It continually monitors card use to look for abnormal purchases stopping them before they reach your statement. 

But you can help in the fight against this criminal activity. Before you insert your card in an ATM, look at the card slot. Does it look damaged or otherwise abnormal, or does there appear to be something stuck over the card slot? If so don’t use the ATM and immediately alert the financial institution that owns it.

The following photos show an example of a normal ATM and one that has been tampered with a skimming device.


Note that the card slot on the tampered ATM does not fit flush with the card reader, and a portion of the support has been sheared off. Such damage is indicative of tampering.


The Greater Building Society is actively protecting its members  to enjoy the benefits that credit and ATM cards bring to our lives but we all must remain continually vigilant against fraud.