VN banks take steps to fight card fraud

Local banks are taking precautionary measures to cope with card fraud, such as asking cardholders to change their passwords and locking automated teller machines (ATMs) after 10 p.m. during public holidays.

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VN banks take steps to fight card fraud

A client of Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Bank withdraws cash from an ATM. Local banks are adopting preventive measures to minimize risks for themselves and their clients – PHOTO: SACOMBANK

A cardholder of Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Bank, or Sacombank, told Tuoi Tre newspaper that she had received an email from the lender on April 28, which detailed the types of scams being employed.

For example, scammers pose as bank staff and tell clients they have won prizes, or they hack into Facebook accounts to send phishing messages. These individuals also pose as police officers and threaten clients to make them provide their bank account details.

Some cardholders of Vietnam Bank for Industry and Trade, or VietinBank, recently complained that they could neither withdraw cash at ATMs nor make online transactions.


VietinBank’s Chairman Le Duc Tho told Tuoi Tre newspaper that multiple ATMs of the bank had been targeted for credit card skimming, where a small device is planted on the ATM to read credit card details, which scammers then sell or use to make fraudulent purchases.

To ensure card security during the long holiday, VietinBank has identified ATMs at high risk of skimming and has changed the card status for those clients in addition to sending SMS messages to the cardholders, who will need to change their passwords at ATMs before conducting any transactions.

Other banks, such as Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Agribank), have taken similar steps. Some have also imposed a limit on cash withdrawals at their ATMs at night.

An Agribank representative told Tuoi Tre newspaper that the State Bank of Vietnam allows commercial banks to close their ATMs at a number of locations that are at high risk of skimming. As such, clients can only access these ATMs at a certain time. However, the banks are required to post their opening hours at these ATM locations and on their official websites.

In August last year, the State Bank of Vietnam asked these banks to flexibly cap the amount of cash withdrawals at ATMs from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., following scores of unauthorized withdrawal cases.

Credit card skimmers are often placed over the card swipe mechanism on ATMs, though skimmers can also be placed over almost any type of credit card reader. With ATMs, a small, undetectable camera may be placed nearby to record people entering their PIN numbers. This provides thieves with all the information they need to manufacture fake cards and withdraw cash from the cardholders’ accounts.

Victims of credit card skimming are often unaware of the theft until they notice unauthorized charges to their accounts or have their cards unexpectedly declined. SGT

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