How PIN theft typically occurs
The most common way your PIN can be captured is by a hidden camera at an ATM which secretly films what you enter on the keypad. These illegal cameras are typically fitted to look like a genuine part of the ATM and can be difficult to spot.
Criminals can also fit devices to the ATM which copy the details from your card as you insert or swipe it. They can then use this data to clone your card and make a copy of it. Combined with your PIN, they can then use it at an ATM or shop just as you would.
Our top tips for protecting your PIN
- Always shield your PIN
Always take care to shield your PIN when using an ATM or Eftpos terminal. Use your free hand or purse / wallet to cover the key-pad while entering your PIN.
- Be aware of your surroundings
Look out for anybody standing too close to you - they might be watching you enter your PIN. If you're uncomfortable, cancel the transaction and use a different machine.
- Memorise your PIN
Do not write it down or store it in your mobile phone.
- Make your PIN hard to guess
Select a unique PIN. Never use obvious information such as your telephone number, date of birth or street number.
- Keep your PIN secret
Don't tell anyone your PIN, and if you suspect someone else knows it change it immediately. Be extremely wary of emails or telephone calls asking you to share your PIN for security or login purposes, even if they appear to be from your financial institution.
- Check your statements
Check your statements when you receive them, and contact us immediately if you detect any unusual activity, for example, purchases or ATM withdrawals you didn't make.
Top tips on choosing and remembering your PIN
- Avoid popular or obvious number sequences like 1234 or 6789.
- Don’t use numbers that are easily associated with you such as your date of birth or telephone number.
- Random combinations of numbers are best and harder for criminals to guess.
- If remembering your PIN is difficult, try breaking it down into two lots of numbers, for example 4175 might be remembered as forty-one and seventy-five.
- Combining numbers which mean something to you is a good way of remembering, for example your favourite footy player’s shirt number and an old street address.
- Some people find it helpful to visualise the pattern the numbers make as they are entered on the keypad.