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Home DFR Observations & Comment ATM Fraud & Security Digest - April 2010
ATM Fraud & Security Digest - April 2010 E-mail
Written by Douglas Russell   
Wednesday, 05 May 2010 11:43

Card Trapping / Card Theft / Distraction / Card Swapping

April card trapping incidents were significant in the UK. Lebanese Loops and other methods were used to trap or jam consumers' cards in ATM card readers. Distraction techniques used for card theft included simply seizing the card from the victim rather than the more common method of dropping a low-value banknote to distract the victim's attention.

ATM Skimming / Skimming / EFTPOS Compromise

ATM skimming continued to be reported globally. Most geographies detected incidents including the USA, UK, Hong Kong, Thailand, Canada, Germany, Australia, among others. In Australia, a Chinese man was arrested for allegedly importing skimming equipment. Arrests for EFTPOS compromise in Australia included that of Malaysian suspects.

Phishing / Vishing / Advanced Fee / Funds Transfer Fraud

April Phishing attacks were numerous and as varied as usual, but with an apparent focus on tax refund scams and fake lottery scams. Both mechanisms are used to facilitate advanced fee fraud often using ATM funds transfer, and to gain card and PIN details. Vishing attacks were perpetrated using auto diallers and automated messages advising of the need to reactivate a card or account; the victims are asked to enter their card details and PIN.

Data Compromise

A further member of the gang implicated in the data compromise of US retailers, including TJX, was sentenced to five years prison.

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

Ram raids were most prevalent in the USA, Ireland and the UK. Forklift trucks and other sturdy vehicles were used. The Gardai (police) in Ireland have made progress in identifying suspects, using the investigative technique of ‘following the money', which has led to the disruption of criminal gangs believed to have been involved in serious crime including ATM ram raid attacks.  Failed attempts to steal ATMs included a US incident where the strap being used to pull out the ATM tore off the vehicles spare tyre. The USA experienced manual removal of ATMs from locations such as hotels.

Safe Cutting / Safe Breaking / Theft from ATM

Reports of thefts from ATMs included an incident in Canada where the perpetrators disabled the electric power to a whole shopping area to avoid burglar alarm detection. Tools used to gain access to ATM security enclosures ranged from the more common cutting tools to one attempt (which failed) using a Samurai sword.

Explosive Attacks

ATM bombings were reported in South Africa. Commercial explosives suspected as being intended for future ATM explosive attacks were also seized in South Africa.

Technology in Focus

Regular users of will be familiar with the powerful search options to return content based on the intelligent ‘tagging' of news items archived in the News Catch-up area of the site as well as previously published articles and other content.  To make searching even easier, this month we are including links to specific search strings for a range of ATM crime categories:

Theft of ATMs: Click Here

Failed Theft of ATMs: Click Here

Theft From ATMs: Click Here

ATM Skimming: Click Here

Card Trapping: Click Here

Advertising Opportunities

If your company supplies products, services and solutions relevant to ATM fraud and security, and you would like to explore the various advertising and marketing opportunities with, please use the 'contact us form' to request further details:

Contact Us: Click Here  


The above digest is provided by DFR Risk Management, who provide consultancy services advising ATM and self-service terminal deployers and manufacturers, as well as law-enforcement agencies, on how to manage ATM and self-service terminal fraud and security threats.

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