ATMIA Publishes Best Practices For Preventing Card Trapping

The ATM Industry Association (ATMIA) ( today announced the publication of its best practices for preventing card trapping.

“For millions of cardholders every day, the ATM is exceptionally safe and convenient to use,” commented Mike Lee, CEO of ATMIA, “ but that doesn’t mean there are no threats. With a new ATM being installed every 3.5 minutes somewhere in the world, there are bound to be occasional incidents. Card trapping still occurs and we need to help stamp it out.” 

Card trapping is the theft of a customer’s card through tampering with the card reader to ensure the card remains stuck inside the card slot and cannot be returned to the customer after it has been inserted. In parallel to trapping a victim’s card, the perpetrator will also compromise the PIN.

ATMIA recommends banks educate their customers continuously on three “Nevers”:

NEVER accept help from a stranger at an ATM or where carrying out payments.

NEVER disclose your PIN to anyone or allow anyone behind you in the queue to watch you entering it (even if somebody claims to be from your bank or the police) as you cover your PIN when it is being entered.

NEVER allow yourself to be distracted while carrying out your transaction.

The new manual discusses types of card trapping devices and methods, counter-measures as well as a checklist of recommendations, such as regular checking of the ATM fascia for illegal devices which may have been attached to it. Lee believes more can be done to educate customers to protect their PINs by covering the hand used to key in the PIN at the ATM, in order to help prevent illegal PIN capture.

“Educating the customer on detection and prevention is a critical component to reducing the effectiveness of card trapping frauds,” he said.


About ATMIA (

The ATM Industry Association is a global non-profit trade association with over 1,900 members in about 50 countries. Its mission is to promote ATM convenience, growth and usage worldwide, protect the ATM industry’s assets, interests, good name and public trust; and provide education, best practices, political voice and networking opportunities for member organizations. Since June 2003, ATMIA has been uniting global security resources in an alliance to protect the ATM industry from criminal activity.

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