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Glue and Tap Scam: What You Can Do To Protect Your Finances

Technology is rapidly changing. We’ve seen its advancement accelerated from the onset of the pandemic in an effort to ease our day-to-day lives. This new-found ease of access has also, unfortunately, opened a door for criminals to take advantage of unsuspecting victims. Your debit card plays an important role with making secured transactions at retail locations, online and at ATMs. 

The latest scam is the “glue and tap” scam. Let’s take a look.

Person using ATM
Scammer watching an ATM transaction

What Happens?

  • Someone (the victim) goes to make a cash withdrawal from an ATM.
  • They are unable to insert their card into the card slot reader due to the reader being filled with glue.
  • The ever-so-convenient and knowledgeable bystander (criminal) standing behind the victim see’s the victim struggling to insert their card.
  • The bystander offers the unsolicited suggestion of using their card’s Tap feature as an alternative method of access for their bank account.
  • The unsuspecting victim takes the suggestion and continues on with their day.
  • Upon review of their financial statements, the victim notices cash withdrawals they did not make.

What Really Happens?

  • Typically, when an ATM transaction is completed, the user’s card is released from the card slot reader. Should the user decide to re-enter their account, they must reinsert their debit card and retype their pin number.
  • The Tap feature bypasses the need for a card to be inserted and the need for a pin number to be entered.
  • Cardholders are unaware of the fact they must physically select the finished option from the on-screen prompt to close out access to their account.
  • Criminals are taking advantage of cardholder’s lack of awareness of properly ending their Tap transaction.
Stealing money from an ATM
Transaction is complete

What You Can Do.

Just as you would wait for your debit card to be released from the card slot reader, simply wait until the ATM displays the menu prompt asking if you are finished with your transaction. You then select you are and confirm on the following screen that your account is no longer accessible.

Next time you are in a public access ATM, CONFIRM with the machine you are completely done with your transaction. The last thing anyone wants to see is their hard-earned money withdrawn without their proper authorization.

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