Two Saturdays ago, running out of cash, a friend of mine stopped by at an ATM machine nearby Hero Permata Hijau.
He inserted the ATM card. It went in but suddenly it purged halfway. He tried retrieving the card by pulling it out of the card slot but failed.
Then he saw what seemed to be the bank's notice placed right above the ATM machine. The notice gave detailed instruction on what to do should the ATM card be stuck in the card slot.
This friend of mine followed the instruction. He punched in the keys in the exact sequence as stated in the notice. It said do to it three times and if the card was still stuck then proceed calling the bank's customer care line at the number displayed at the bottom of the A-4 sized notice.
He tried three times and still the card did not budge. He then called the customer care number.
My friend explained to the Customer Care Executive (CCE) his predicament. The CCE sounded very pleasant and professional and asked my friend to repeat the procedure as stated on the notice again.
Then the CCE said from the online computer system, he could free the card from the slot. The CCE then asked for identity verification. Full name, address, mother's maiden name and PIN number.
Innocently, without sensing anything dubious , this friend of mine gave away all the information requested from him including his PIN number.
The CCE asked him to wait a few minutes and try the procedure on the notice again and hung up.
Barely two minutes after the phone call ended, a man came by the ATM machine and ripped the notice above the ATM machine. When asked by my friend why he did that the man said the notice was a hoax. He looked angry and said he wanted to show the security guard the notice. He then walked off briskly.
A little panicky, my friend called another friend who then gave him THE bank's customer care number. To cut it short, my friend lost Rp6,000,000. Withdrawn from an ATM machine in Senayan.
Ok. Granted that this friend of mine was foolish enough to give away his PIN number which is the number one, big, No-No! But then again, it could happen to anyone. Sometimes, when faced with such a situation, our concern is to get it resolved quickly and in the process we tend to momentarily lose the ability to think in a calm and rational manner. We blindly trust everything given before us.
These robbers getting smarter or just us getting more negligent?
Yupp. I suspect the person who took away the notice on the pretext of wanting to show it to the security guard was an accomplice.
So, please, please, store your bank's customer care numbers in your mobile/palm/or whatever gadget you own. And do store your bank account numbers too for they will ask for it when you call the customer care line should you need to block your ATM card. Do the same for your credit cards.
Be extra careful when withdrawing cash from secluded ATMs.
Have you ever noticed, at some ATMs, there are cameras right above those machines, pointing toward the screen and keypad? I never trust those cameras. I always cover with my left hand whenever I key-in my PIN number.
Call me stupid - it's better be seen stupid but safe than sorry and Rp6 million poorer.