ATMs: a call to vigilance & steps to avoid scams

ABBL Published 17.07.2019

With summer upon us, the number of attempted scams at ATMs is on the rise again.

To avoid the risk of fraud or theft, whether you are in Luxembourg or abroad, you may benefit from adopting the following reflexes.


Before initiating your cash withdrawal transaction, check the distributor’s appearance to ensure compliance with a standard interface. First, evaluate the device for signs of vandalism, such as paint on the camera and / or the mirror, or other signs of tampering.
To recover your PIN, some criminals include a second keyboard distributor or even a second card reader on top of the ATM’s existing interface. When in doubt, do not use the ATM.

When withdrawing money, make sure to dial your secret code out of sight, be aware of your surroundings, protect yourself from so-called “shoulder surfing“, a technique used by criminals to spy on your secret code, steal your card and finally use it on cash machines and in shops.

Refuse any proposal for help. Don’t let yourself be distracted by a stranger who tries to speak to you or pretends to help you when entering your PIN. Ask any such individual to keep their distances. Should the individual fail to comply with your requests, cancel your transaction and leave the premises. Be particularly careful if, during or after a withdrawal, your card does not exit the ATM and a stranger proposes to try to release it by asking you to reintroduce your PIN.

Finally, as soon as you are under the impression that the withdrawal operation is not going according to plan – for example if the card and / or the money fail to exit the ATM all the while the ATM does not display any malfunction message – do not hesitate to have your card blocked immediately by calling SIX Payment Services on +352 49 10 10, available 24/7.

Some banks also have their own emergency number and an increasing number of mobile banking applications include an option to block access to the customer’s payment cards. Subsequently, you should report the loss, theft or fraudulent use of your card to the police as soon as possible.

Additional information

You will find additional information concerning the various kinds of existing cyberattacks in our dedicated dossier.


Association des Banques et Banquiers, Luxembourg


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