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Home DFR Observations & Comment ATM Fraud & Security Digest - June 2010
ATM Fraud & Security Digest - June 2010 E-mail
Written by Douglas Russell   
Thursday, 01 July 2010 07:57

Transaction Reversal Fraud / Denomination Fraud

Suspects were arrested in the USA, perpetrating a type of transaction reversal fraud whereby cash is obtained from an ATM, but subsequently recredited to the account, thus overcoming the daily withdrawal limit and preventing the account balance from being depleted. In the UK, three suspects were sentenced following denomination fraud at an ATM. The suspects had changed the value attached to cash in the ATM. The fraud was detected after genuine customers advised they were receiving more cash than they were being charged for. In India a type of reverse denomination fraud was used to conceal internal cash theft from an ATM. The perpetrators modified the value of banknotes to that of a higher value in an attempt to disguise the theft of cash from an ATM they had access to.

ATM Skimming / Skimming / EFTPOS Compromise

An international police operation closed an ATM skimming factory in Bulgaria. The organized crime syndicate produced and supplied skimming devices which were used globally, including in Australia, Canada and Europe. In the USA, a multi-agency law enforcement operation resulted in the arrest of a Serbian national. The suspect had attempted to purchase an ATM skimming device from a person secretly assisting the FBI. South Africa reported attacks using hand-held skimming devices. Police in New Zealand won an international award issued by Visa International for their success in disrupting Romanian ATM skimming groups. In Jamaica, female suspects were arrested for apparent visual card compromise using a camera to observe the card information printed on the card. A second camera recorded the PIN being entered. In China, police arrested suspects behind the installation of a fake ATM designed to skim card details and record PIN entry. Indonesian prosecutors are seeking a 15-year sentence for suspects accused of ATM fraud. Prosecutions in the UK included a four-and-a-half year sentence handed down to a Sri Lankan national involved in Chip and PIN / PED compromise. The suspect targeted Chip and PIN machines in fuel stations. A fuel company estimated that such types of crime reduced consumer confidence and subsequently reduced sales by 25% across the country.

Explosive Attacks

South African police arrested suspects involved in ATM bombings. The suspects are also thought to have been impersonating police officers. Police equipment and a car fitted with blue lights were seized. Also in South Africa, staff and customers at a fuel station were forced to the ground while explosives were used to open an ATM. Polish police arrested two suspects following an explosive attack on an ATM. In Australia, an explosive attack failed to gain access to an ATM security enclosure. Explosives were also used in Spain to attack ATMs.

Card Trapping / Card Theft / Distraction / Swapping

Three Mexican nationals were arrested in Singapore following distraction theft. Victims were targeted after withdrawing large amounts of cash from ATMs. The distraction technique involved advising the victims that they had dropped some of their cash. The UK also reported incidents of distraction theft. UK card trapping incidents included an example of how consumer-education can reduce losses. A victim remained at the ATM while reporting their card retained. Subsequent fraudulent use of the card resulted in the card being securely captured with no financial losses.

Phishing / Vishing / Advanced Fee / Funds Transfer

A predominately Chinese-organized crime syndicate targeted victims in an advanced fee fraud similar to lottery scams. The victims were required to deposit a fee prior to receiving their award. Malaysian police arrested 26 suspects involved in a combined smishing (smsishing) text message scam and advanced fee fraud scam. The USA reported phishing and vishing incidents.

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

In the UK, structural damage to a building caused by a ram raid using a JCB digger prevented residents from returning to their homes. The digger was used in the theft of the ATM which was subsequently taken away in another vehicle. In a separate UK incident, a crane was used in an attempt to remove an ATM. In Denmark, police opened fire on a vehicle involved in the theft of an ATM. Canadian courts issued a conditional 18-month sentence in relation to the theft of ATMs using vehicles and chains. In the USA, additional charges were brought against four suspects accused of ATM theft using stolen forklift trucks and other vehicles. Malaysian police investigated a professional theft of an ATM which left almost no structural damage to a building. In India, thieves took advantage and stole an ATM which had not yet been bolted to the floor.

Safe Cutting / Safe Breaking / Theft from ATM

In India, a suspect stole unprocessed cheques deposited at an ATM and subsequently cashed them. Also in India, thieves hired a 12-year-old child in an attempt to steal cash from an ATM. Police in the USA arrested a suspect who was hiding inside the ATM he was attacking. The attack triggered an alarm.

Event in Focus

Combat & Investigate ATM Fraud - Lagos, Nigeria July 27th to 30th, 2010

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