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Home DFR Observations & Comment ATM Fraud and Security Digest - September 2012
ATM Fraud and Security Digest - September 2012 E-mail
Written by Douglas Russell   
Monday, 22 October 2012 15:18

ATM Skimming / Skimming / EFTPOS Compromise

The banking ombudsman in India advised consumers to be vigilant following an increase in ATM fraud incidents. Police in the US acknowledged that skimming, including ATM skimming appears to be increasing. UK police issued a warning about ATM skimming in September. Victims had between £200 and £300 fraudulently withdrawn from their accounts. Four Bulgarian nationals suspected of involvement in ATM skimming were rearrested by Ugandan police after barricading themselves in a court room.  A suspect was arrested in Australia following the discovery of an ATM skimming device and miniature camera attached to an ATM.

Card Trapping / Cash Trapping / Card Swapping / Leaving Transaction Live

Card trapping in association with spy cameras used to obtain the PIN were detected in Europe throughout September. Cash trapping was described as rising exponentially in the UK by British police. The internal cash traps, also known as ‘cash claws' are placed inside the ATM cash dispenser during a valid transaction executed by the perpetrator. Hidden behind the cash dispenser shutter the trap is not visible from the exterior of the ATM and victims are therefore unable to observe anything unusual until their cash fails to be presented. Card swapping reports included an incident in India where the victim only realized his card had been swapped when he received an invalid PIN message when using an ATM. During a prior ATM transaction two suspects had distracted the victim and exchanged his card with another of similar appearance. India also reported ‘helpful strangers' distracting victims and stealing cards. The US Secret Service warned of a group of four suspects who observe PIN entry by shoulder surfing and then distract victims by asking for directions and steal the victims' cards.


Transaction Reversal Fraud / Cheque Fraud / Denomination Fraud / Funds Transfer

Police in India apprehended four suspects during an investigation into retract reversal fraud. Transaction reversal fraud using skilful manipulation of the dispenser was detected in Europe during September.

Ram Raid Attacks / Theft of ATM / Smash-and-Grab

Police in the UK arrested a suspect following the use of a digger to remove an ATM which is being linked to a number of other similar incidents. Two getaway vehicles were used in addition to the stolen digger. Theft of ATMs in Malaysia continued in September. In one incident, the bank branch alarm was immediately deactivated and the CCTV camera sabotaged with spray paint prior to the ATM being removed.

Safe Cutting / Safe Breaking / Theft from ATM

A suspect in the US severely cut his leg during a failed attempt to cut open an ATM. A gang of four were sentenced to a total of almost 25 years prison in the UK following a number of thefts from ATMs using cutting equipment. Losses of almost £700,000 were attributed to the gang.

Explosive Attacks

A number of suspects linked to ATM bombings in South Africa were arrested in September.


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