What is ABN AMRO doing to protect clients against skimming?

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It is crucial for ABN AMRO that its clients have confidence in using their debit cards. Clients do not need to worry about the possibility of fraud: if they should fall victim to it, they can rest assured that we will reimburse them for their loss. In addition, we are taking numerous measures to promote secure use of debit cards and to prevent or limit the risks of fraud.

There has been a great deal in the news recently about skimming, or debit card fraud. ABN AMRO has a number of methods to protect clients against this type of fraud. Gijs Schreuder, Director of Retail Payments, explains what the bank is doing.

How are ABN AMRO ATMs protected?

To prevent skimming, ABN AMRO has fitted all its ATMs with a special security slot. This secure insertion slot is illustrated on the ATM screen. When withdrawing cash, clients can see whether the insertion slot has been manipulated. In addition, the ATMs make use of the highly secure chip on the debit card. This also applies for all EFTPOS payment terminals which use the new PIN system. If a client believes that using their PIN at a cash machine or payment terminal is not possible for whatever reason, they can report this to the national hotline on +31 30 283 65 55.

What happens if your debit card is skimmed?

The use of debit card by our clients is monitored in several ways in order to enable us to detect possible fraud. For example, if the same debit card is used in both Arnhem and New York within the space of an hour, we know that something is wrong. We then immediately block the debit card and notify the owner by text, telephone or letter. Clients receive a new debit card automatically and at no charge.

We identify skimming by comparing transactions with payments in the Netherlands. This monitoring is automatic and continuous. Suppose 100 Dutch debit cards are used to withdraw the maximum amount from an ATM abroad. If those 100 people have also all made payments in the same supermarket using the same payment terminal within a given period, we assume that something is not right. It’s likely that the payment terminal in the supermarket has been skimmed. In that case, too, all the cards are blocked that were used to make payments during this period. Our clients don’t have to do anything. We report it to the police and take all the necessary actions.

What can clients do?

It is important that clients themselves regularly check their bank statements or use online banking to check the most recent payments or cash withdrawals. If they see any payments or withdrawals that they don’t recognise, they should contact ABN AMRO Bank immediately.

Will I get my money back if I fall victim to skimmers?

Yes. As long as they have not been guilty of gross negligence, clients will always receive their money back. If we detect skimming, or if a client reports it, this happens automatically. We can tell whether or not card has been skimmed. For example, if a client lends their debit card or discloses their PIN to someone else, we cannot be held responsible for the risks to which they are exposing themselves. It’s therefore important that clients treat their debit card and PIN with care.

And what if there has been no debit card fraud?

As a preventive measure, we block all debit cards which we suspect may have been skimmed. In many cases, no fraudulent withdrawals will yet have been made, and clients may in such cases not appreciate the bank’s action in blocking their card. However, this drawback is outweighed by all the times that we proactively protect our clients against skimming. By calling or texting the client, we are often able to ascertain quickly whether there is an explanation for an unusual payment or cash withdrawal. In that case, we unblock the debit card and the client can use it again immediately.

Do you have any tips for clients?

  • Never keep your PIN and debit card in the same place. Not in your wallet or purse, and in your home. 

  • Make sure you always shield the keypad when keying in your PIN. 

  • Never disclose your PIN when making a payment or cash withdrawal. That includes in restaurants or service stations. 

  • Make sure you keep the ABN AMRO hotline numbers close to hand, so you can call them quickly if you suspect something isn’t right.

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