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Home DFR Observations & Comment ATM Fraud & Security Digest - May 2011
ATM Fraud & Security Digest - May 2011 E-mail
Written by Douglas Russell   
Tuesday, 07 June 2011 14:34

Card Trapping / Card Theft / Distraction / Card Swapping

Card trapping continued to be reported throughout May, particularly in Europe. In many instances, a mobile phone camera was used to observe PIN entry. In the UK, police issued a warning to consumers to report incidents to their card issuer should their card be apparently retained by an ATM.

Cash Trapping / Transaction Reversal Fraud / Denomination Fraud

Police in the UK issued warnings following a large number of cash trapping incidents. Cash trapping was prevalent in many European countries in May.

ATM Skimming / Skimming / EFTPOS Compromise

The South Africa Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) reported that skimming, including ATM skimming is increasing. Generally, most countries with significant deployments of ATMs experienced skimming attacks in May. Reports from Switzerland estimated that three ATMs per day are targeted. Statistics issued by German BKB (police) reported an increase of 55% from the year 2009 to year 2010 impacting 190,000 German customers. Fraud spend from ATM skimming in Europe is increasingly outside of Europe due to the large deployment of EMV chip readers. Many US states reported ATM skimming during May.

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

UK ATM thefts included the use of a JCB (digger) to remove an ATM from a supermarket. A box van was used in the theft of an ATM from a fuel station and a failed attempt included the use of a variety of tools to remove bricks around an ATM. In Australia, suspects failed to pull out an ATM from a hotel restaurant using a rope and vehicle. Anchoring resulted in the separation of the cabinet from the security enclosure. Various vehicles were used in US attacks. In one of the failed incidents, CCTV shows a pickup truck generating a considerable amount of smoke after repeated attempts to remove an anchored ATM. In India, one ATM theft was targeted at a new installation which had not yet commissioned CCTV or appointed a guard. A member of the public was threatened with a firearm as he filmed a gang attempting to remove an ATM with a digger in Ireland. A Gardai (police) car in the vicinity had been sabotaged by letting air out of its tyres.

Safe Cutting / Safe Breaking / Theft from ATM

Police in India suspected someone with inside knowledge following theft from an ATM using cutting equipment. The suspects had sabotaged the CCTV camera. In another case in India, a bank official was criticised for failing to escalate the alarm after receiving an automated SMS (text message) that indicated the theft from an ATM was in progress. In the USA an ATM service technician pleaded not guilty to the theft of a significant amount of cash from ATMs he serviced. CCTV evidence was used in the investigation. CCTV also recorded a failed attempt to open an ATM using a crowbar in the US. An opportunist thief removed cash from an ATM in the USA that was unlocked. Cutting torches were used in Vietnam during May.

Explosive Attacks

Police in Australia responded to reports of an explosion during the theft of an ATM in May. A suspect was found guilty of involvement in explosive gas attacks in Australia in 2008. Evidence presented included bank notes damaged from an explosion. Explosive gas attacks were reported in Austria during May. ATM bombings in South Africa continued.

Event in Focus

pptiAfrica are hosting ATM & Card Fraud Investigation Techniques training between August 15th and 18th at the Mombasa Continental Resort, Kenya. Presented by DFR Risk Management Ltd, the 4 day intensive training is now open for registrations by e-mailing


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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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