ATM card cloning on the rise in Ghana

The first ATM was set up in June 1967 on a street in Enfield, London at a branch of Barclays bank. A British inventor named John Shepherd-Barron is credited with its invention. The machine allowed customers to withdraw a maximum of GBP10 at a time.He never thought his investion could be clon someday.

Is ATM card cloning possible? Yes

Skimmer devices copy data of ATM cards inserted by the customers for withdrawing money from ATMs. Digital micro-cameras were installed in such a manner that they copied the pin numbers pressed by the customers for withdrawing money

Intelligent criminals who replicate Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards and go on to wipe out people’s accounts are present in Ghana, take it or leave it.

Cases of card cloning have been reported in Accra lately. Scattered incidence and reports indicate that the crime is rising steadily and if not checked will soon escalate.

The general public is cautioned to be vigilant when redrawing monies from ATMs.

Unconfirmed reports reaching firstghananews.com also alleges that some IT technicians and some bank officials are actively involved in cloning ATM cards of very rich businessmen who have accounts at their banks.

Criminal elements take advantage of situations to make copies of the cards, containing data that is similar to the original, which they use to make purchases or cash withdrawals.

Card cloning occurs when individuals leave their ATM cards with bank tellers and till operators who in turn connive with fraudsters to duplicate their cards. Online reports say close to $1 billion is lost annually through card cloning crimes globally.

This seems to be a worrying and powerful new crime. Individuals have lost their money to unknown people who would have cloned their ATM cards. The victims become aware of the theft upon receiving a text message confirming a successful transaction they did not initiate.

ATM card cannot be cloned if someone does not know your pin code. Firstghananews.com suspects that those cloning the cards are working in connivance with bank tellers or top bank officials or till operators whom members of the public would have given their bank details so that they can withdraw cash on their behalf.

Firstghananews.com urges members of the public not to leave their bank cards with anyone in the hope of being assisted in accessing hard cash.

However, members of the public should not also be discouraged from using the plastic money but guard against providing their bank details to unscrupulous individuals. Online reports suggest card cloning is rife in most parts of the world.

Sometimes, an ATM card may simply be swapped and a customer is given another card. The service provider who swapped the card monitors the PIN code entered by the customer and remains using the original card to make more transactions.

Whenever you present your card for payment you run the risk of being skimmed. However, the majority of skimming incidents are recorded around ATMs and, to a lesser extent, at retail merchants when bank cards are presented for payments.

ATM card cloning on the rise in Ghana

Skimming devices is often used to manufacture counterfeit cards which criminals use to make fraudulent transactions on a victim’s account.

ATM skimming is an identity theft for debit cards: Thieves use hidden electronics to steal the personal information stored on your card and record your PIN number to access all that hard-earned cash in your account.

ATM card cloning on the rise in Ghana

Skimming takes two separate components to work. The first part is the skimmer itself, a card reader placed over the ATM’s real card slot. When you slide your card into the ATM, you’re unwittingly sliding it through the counterfeit reader, which scans and stores all the information on the magnetic strip.

ATM card cloning on the rise in Ghana 1

Some may place a false keypad over the original ATM keypad to capture the details you punch in.

The crime exists but like most crimes, an individual can observe a few basic rules to prevent it. Never let your ATM card out of your sight even in a restaurant and never disclose your PIN to anyone.

The general public is warned.

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