Aucklanders' cash at risk as fraudsters beat ATM security

By Andrew Koubaridis

Matt Gers and his partner lost almost $2500 in the scam. Photo / Dean Purcell
Matt Gers and his partner lost almost $2500 in the scam. Photo / Dean Purcell

Hundreds of Aucklanders have potentially had their bank accounts exposed to fraudsters - with some customers saying they have already lost thousands of dollars.

Three ANZ cash machines in Auckland have had their anti-skimming devices beaten and the bank was last night trying to figure out how many customers were involved and how much money had been lost.

One told the Herald he and his partner lost almost $2500 between them, while a customer of the National Bank, part of the ANZ group, told of losing $3000.

An ANZ spokesman said banks were involved in a "cat and mouse" game with fraudsters, who continually came up with ways to beat security.

He urged people worried that their PIN number might have been compromised to contact their branch.

Parnell man Matt Gers, 35, received a call from the National Bank late on Saturday night asking him if he was in New Zealand.

"They told me money was being withdrawn from my current account in South Africa and they were alerted to it because there had been four $500 withdrawals in quick succession."

His partner, who had used an ASB card at an ANZ machine, received a similar call from her bank yesterday morning to say almost $500 had been taken - leaving the couple to wonder how many others had been affected.

"Who knows how it happened, if it was one particular ATM [or not]," Mr Gers said. "There may well be people who have their PIN numbers skimmed but the ones who have done this haven't tried to use that account yet so they wouldn't be aware of it at all."

Another National Bank customer said they'd lost $3000 from one account.

Mr Gers was told by a bank representative on Saturday night that 150 customers were known to have been affected.

ASB's general manager of cards, transactions and payments, Shaun Drylie, said the bank had been alerted to the issue and was investigating the impact on customers.

The ANZ spokesman said customers who were known to have used the machines were being spoken to. "All our ATMs are fitted with anti-skimming devices. We also have sophisticated fraud protection software providing constant, live reports.

"Unfortunately, this is a game of cat and mouse. As fast as ATM manufacturers and banks come up with ways to prevent this happening, the fraudsters come up with ways to overcome those measures."

Mr Gers said the fraudsters were always one step ahead "to come up with something new".

ANZ said anyone who had lost money as a result of the latest scam would be reimbursed.

- NZ Herald

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