Scams exist wherever there is money. Scammers will always discover new methods to take critical information from unknowing victims and empty their bank accounts, whether in the physical world or online. ATMs, which are frequently seen as a safe and secure means to withdraw cash, are not safe against fraud. Shoulder surfing is one of the most popular ATM frauds.
Shoulder surfing is a secretive method of collecting information by looking over someone’s shoulder while they are unaware. It’s frequent when individuals use ATMs or their phones to make purchases.
What is Shoulder Surfing?
Thieves who engage in shoulder surfing stand next to someone and monitor their movements. As the term implies, these criminals frequently look over an unsuspecting individual’s shoulder at an ATM or while they are distracted by their phone in order to get important information. They seek to examine personal information such as passwords and PIN numbers, which they then use to their financial advantage.
Shoulder surfing is popular in busy settings where criminals may easily position themselves next to someone filling out a form, entering a PIN at an ATM, or using a calling card on a public pay phone. Shoulder surfing may also be done with the use of technology such as binoculars.
Here are some examples of how scammers utilize shoulder surfing to collect information:
- Thieves can stand near an ATM and watch someone input their PIN code.
- Thieves can view someone’s credit card number as they enter it into a payment terminal while sitting next to them on a bus or train.
- Thieves may even wait behind someone in a retail queue and observe them enter their password on a checkout terminal.
To avoid shoulder surfing, be mindful of your surroundings and try to hide your screen, obscuring the view of both the screen and the keyboard from others. In addition, you can utilize a privacy screen or cover.
How to Stay Safe While Shoulder Surfing
- Never accept assistance from strangers at an ATM.
- Be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye out for anyone who appears to be trying to view your screen.
- When entering your PIN at an ATM, use your hand to conceal the screen and keyboard.
- Check for any suspicious cameras that may be located surrounding the ATM screen.
- Continue to use the ATM until your transaction is complete and you have completely logged out. If you leave early, the next person in the queue may gain access to your account.
- Monitor your account balances and bank statements on a regular basis, and report any inconsistencies to your bank right once.