View Full Version : Beware the next time you use an ATM...

17th Apr 2002, 08:09
I have just been sent this by a colleague...not sure if it is urban myth or not but seems likely to me!

Beware the next time you use an ATM.

Criminals are inventing ever more ingenious methods of relieving you of your cash.

The latest scam involves thieves putting a thin, clear, rigid plastic ‘sleeve’ into the ATM card slot. When you insert your card, the machine can’t read the strip, so it keeps asking you to re-enter your PIN number. Meanwhile, someone behind you watches as you tap in your number. Eventually you give up, thinking the machine has swallowed your card and you walk away. The thieves then remove the plastic sleeve complete with card, and empty your account.

The way to avoid this is to run your finger along the card slot before you put your card in. The sleeve has a couple of tiny prongs that the thieves need to get the sleeve out of the slot, and you’ll be able to feel them.


The Greaser
17th Apr 2002, 08:20
Do you have to give away all of our secrets?

cloud nine
17th Apr 2002, 08:55
Yes, this is TRUE! I used to work with a company that repaired ATM's and this is one of the things that can be done with an ATM to steal a persons cash. You would be amazed at what else can be done. A word of advise, always count your cash too, because I have known many a times where ATM's give out less than what you asked for, then there has been times where people try and withdraw $50 and have recieved $100.

17th Apr 2002, 13:59
.....less than what you asked for, then there has been times where people try and withdraw $50 and have recieved $100.

Excellent!!!!.....wonder where that ATM is then, cloud9 :cool:


17th Apr 2002, 14:55
Cloud nine

As you seem to know more about cash machines than most, I have to run this past you.

I have heard that if you withdraw money from an ATM, and only take the middle notes and manage to leave the top and bottom ones untouched, then the machine in time, and after a little bleeping alarm, takes it back, assumes the whole lot is still there and does not change your balance.

Is this another urban myth or a mystical fountain of free money? I inquire simply out of interest, obviously ;)

Send Clowns
17th Apr 2002, 19:02
Ummmmm ... surely if it can't read the strip the machine will ask you to put the card in the right way up, rather than asking for a PIN? If not then whoever programmed the mchine is not very sharp.

17th Apr 2002, 20:50
*His and Her guide to cash machines*

A host of new drive through cash points is set to sweep through the
country, and the national association of bankers has issued the following
guidelines to ensure full, efficient use of this new system when it becomes
operational in the new year:

1. Pull up to Automatic Drive Through Cash Machine
2. Insert card
3. Enter PIN number
4. Take cash, card and receipt

1. Pull up to Automatic Drive Through Cash Machine
2. Check makeup in rearview mirror
3. Shut off engine
4. Put keys in handbag
5. Get out of car because you're too far from machine
6. Hunt for card in handbag
7. Insert card
8. Hunt in handbag for tampon wrapper with PIN number written on it.
9. Enter PIN number
10. Study instructions for at least 2 minutes
11. Hit "cancel"
12. Re-enter correct PIN number
13. Check balance
14. Look for deposit envelope
15. Look in handbag for pen
16. Make out deposit slip
17. Sign cheques
18. Make deposit
19. Study instructions
20. Make cash withdrawal
21. Get in car
22. Check makeup
23. Look for keys.
24. Start car
25. Check makeup
26. Start pulling away
27. STOP
28. Back up to machine
29. Get out of car
30. Take card and receipt
31. Get back in car
32. Put card in wallet
33. Put receipt in chequebook
34. Enter deposits and withdrawals in chequebook
35. Clear area in handbag for wallet and chequebook
36. Check makeup
37. Put car in reverse gear
38. Put car in drive
39. Drive away from machine
40. Travel 3 miles
41. Release handbrake


17th Apr 2002, 21:20
Nice one Chapman

The one I like (poss also an urban myth) is to run a magnet across the bottom of your cheques. Aparently screws up the automated clearing, slows down getting money out of your account and into theirs (obviously you'd keep a separate cheque book for paying people you like, like the flying club and the alimony):cool:

18th Apr 2002, 09:27
MisNomer - excellent post!

Just down the road from where I stayed in America over Christmas was a drive-through ATM, and this didn't seem too far off the truth! The interesting thing was that I used to drive to the bank, look at the queue for the drive-through ATM, park, get out the car, walk to the regular ATM (no queue), withdraw my cash, get back in the car, and be gone before the car in front of me was even half way through the queue! :D

Ivchenko, no idea if this is true or not, but if it is, I wouldn't want to do it. I hate the way it takes cheques so long to be processed - you write a cheque for a reasonable amount (say a few hundred quid), then a week later check your bank balance and find (to your surprise!) that you've got plenty of money. So you arrange a big night out, spend the money, then two days later the cheque that you'd completely forgotten about gets processed, and you go overdrawn :mad: I'd much rather the money goes out of my account straight away - at least I know where I stand then. Maybe it's just me...


18th Apr 2002, 13:25
I doubt the magnet-along-a-cheque thing would work :( There's nothing in the cheque to become magnetised.

However, running a magnet along your cards will increase your balance!

(just joking... please don't try it!)

Big Tudor
18th Apr 2002, 13:38
Don't know about running a magnet over your cheques but if you put small pin holes through the bar code at the bottom it delays your cheques passage through the clearing process as the details have to be entered manually. ;)

18th Apr 2002, 14:06
AerBabe, in the bit below the "DO NOT MARK BELOW THIS LINE" warning there is hidden coding which may be magnetic.

There was a case I heard of where somebody went to several banks and took away all the paying in slips which do not have any coding at the bottom. He then electronically printed the details of an account he had set up on these slips and returned them to the bank.

When the slips are processed, the ones from check books that are encoded are automatically processed and the blank ones chucked out. His altered ones sucsessfully transfered the monies other people had payed in to his account.

The banks then started printing null data on the bottom of paying in slips. I suspect this is true as there was a period when there were no blank slips available on the counter and you had to ask a teller for a paying in slip.

18th Apr 2002, 18:10
The ink in the account number on a check actually _is_ magnetic, but nowadays most banks optically scan the numbers anyway. It's a holdover from the automation state-of-the-art during the '60s and '70s

Send Clowns
18th Apr 2002, 18:20
Advice from the accountant who I met when he was handling SFT's administration was to fold every cheque you make out (he says he does so). This prevents their automatic processing, and takes the money longer to leave your account.

18th Apr 2002, 19:12
Hey... cool... I now have a fridge covered in cheques! :o

EGCC Rwy 24
18th Apr 2002, 19:23
Usless fact, that wierd looking font at the bottom of the cheques is called E13B. The shapes help to get the right amount of magnetic ink to represent each character......

Yawn, yawn, yawn

18th Apr 2002, 19:32
The first scam on this is certainly BS - if you've ever seen your card sent back because the strip is damaged or - as happened to me yesterday - you are somewhere overseas where they put them in the other way up, it comes back to you with an error message. You don't get asked for a PIN.

Oh yeah, and they use OCR for cheques anyway....