Limerick Gardaí warn of ‘shoulder surfing’

Hand inserting ATM card into bank machine to withdraw money. businessman men hand puts credit card into ATM
Business card photo created by Dragana_Gordic -

LIMERICK Gardaí have issued a warning about thieves using “shoulder surfing” technique to identify pin numbers as part of a credit card fraud.

“Shoulder surfing” is the term used when somebody attempts to get the four numbers of your card by standing close to you as you put the numbers into the card machine,” Crime Prevention Officer Sergeant Ber Leetch explained.

The warning comes after a number of fraudulent transactions made on debit cards were reported to Gardai this week.

Sergeant Leetch said: “I cannot emphasise strongly enough the importance of protecting your pin number of your credit or debit card and, of course, the card itself.

“Thieves are hanging around ATMs and shops and waiting to see if they can figure out a person’s pin number when they use their bank card to take out cash or to buy something.

“If they do see the four-digit number they then follow and steal the wallet or purse and extract any amount of cash that they can use the card and pin number.

“Be very aware who is close to you when you’re at a checkout or ATM and cover your number as you put it in.”

Sergeant Leetch also warned people to be vigilant when using ATMs: “Most ATMs swallow the cards but there is a time lapse and therefore an opportunity for some unscrupulous person to take your card and get at your money.”

by Jessica Doyle

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