Credit card and debit card fraud

Card fraud is when someone obtains your card data for fraudulent use. Here are the most common ways criminals get their hands on your card, and how you can protect yourself.

Types of card fraud

Skimming

Skimming is when an electronic device is used to record your card information when you swipe it. Skimming devices can be placed anywhere you swipe your card, including ATMs and EFTPOS machines. It may be attached to the slot you swipe through or may be kept nearby to be used by the fraudster when you hand your card over to be processed. The fraudster will also try to capture your PIN, usually by standing nearby and watching you enter it, or by using a hidden camera.

The recorded information is used to create a duplicate card with your bank details, giving the fraudster access to your accounts.

Phantom callers

Criminals have been known to steal EFTPOS or credit cards, and then phone the card owner pretending to be from your bank or the police to try to get the PIN. These types of scams are often targeted at the elderly.

Remember your bank will NEVER ask for your PIN and you should never give your PIN to anyone for any reason.

How you can protect yourself

There are a number of steps you can take to help make sure your credit cards, Visa Debit Cards or ATM/EFTPOS cards stay as secure as possible.

Card management

  • Keep your contact details up to date so we can let you know if we notice anything suspicious.
  • Don’t let your card out of your sight – if a retailer needs to swipe your card, make sure they give it back to you straight away.
  • Where possible, swipe your card through EFTPOS terminals yourself.
  • Notify us immediately if your card is lost, stolen or someone discovered your PIN.
  • Read the terms and conditions of any website before making a purchase and look for hidden charges.
  • Check your statements for any transactions that you don’t recognise.
  • Never give your card details to someone over the phone unless you initiated the call and you know the company is reputable.
  • If you have any doubts about the security of an ATM or retailer (especially on the internet) – don’t use it!
  • If you've misplaced or lost your card, you can put a temporary block on your card using the mobile app. The block can be removed at any time within the app.
  • If it's been stolen, you can also cancel it and order a replacement card using the mobile app.

PIN safety

  • Memorise your PIN number – don’t write it down anywhere and don’t disclose it to anyone.
  • Take extra care when keying in your PIN to make sure no one else can see it.
  • Use different PINs for different cards.
  • Don't tell anyone your PIN, or give your card to anyone (including family members, the police or bank staff).

When you're travelling overseas

  • Let us know if you're going overseas, where you'll be travelling, how long for and how we can contact you while you're away.
  • Try to only use ATMs that are attached to banks.
  • If you can, never let your card out of your sight. When in overseas restaurants, staff will often take your card away for payment. Consider going with them to sign and complete the payment or pay with cash instead.

How we protect you

All Kiwibank customers' cards are protected by FraudWatch International, a world-class tool, used by our dedicated fraud prevention team. We monitor activity on all cards – ATM/EFTPOS, Visa Debit and Mastercards – 24 hours of every day so you can relax and transact with confidence.

If we notice any unusual spending on your card, we'll try to contact you to make sure it's you spending your money. If we can't get in touch with you and we believe there's a high chance of fraud, we may temporarily block your card to stop any more transactions until we can speak to you.