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Home DFR Observations & Comment ATM Fraud and Security Digest - February 2013
ATM Fraud and Security Digest - February 2013 E-mail
Written by Douglas Russell   
Friday, 15 March 2013 14:06

Cash Trapping / Transaction Reversal Fraud

Cash trapping incidents continued at a significant level during February. Most reports were from the Europe region and involved traps inserted within the cash dispenser transport mechanism. Cash traps attached externally were also identified. Transaction Reversal Fraud was also detected in February. Most transaction reversal fraud incidents were linked directly to cash trapping activity rather than other forms of ATM manipulation. Such incidents demonstrate that the objective of cash trapping can be to steal innocent consumers’ cash or to generate reversals on accounts controlled by the perpetrator.

Card Trapping / Card Swapping

Card trapping was detected, again predominately in Europe. Intelligence suggests that crime gangs originating from Eastern Europe are often linked to both card trapping and cash trapping. Card swapping; often involving the suspect pretending to help a victim perform an ATM transaction was detected in various countries including India.

Cheque Fraud / Fake Deposit / Leaving Transaction Live

Cheque fraud in the US during February included incidents where fake identification documents were used to open accounts, fake deposits made via an ATM and the full balance withdrawn, all in a single day.

ATM Skimming / Skimming / EFTPOS Compromise

While incidents of ATM skimming in Europe continue to diminish, elsewhere incidents continue at a significant level. The US reported a large number of ATM skimming related crimes during February. In Gibraltar police recovered a skimming device from an ATM. Cards skimmed at ATMs in Canada (which have EMV chip support) are increasingly being used for fraud spend in the US. Local administrators in Cebu, Philippines appealed to banks to increase ATM fraud resistance. Skimming suspects from Sri Lanka were arrested in Malaysia in February.  Police in Japan indicated that a crime group from Bulgaria are suspected of involvement in ATM skimming. Consumer safety advice was reiterated in Tanzania during February. ATM skimming incidents in Australia were reported.

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

Police in the US arrested a suspect following the failed attempt to pull out an ATM using a vehicle and tow straps. The potential cash loss, should the ATM have been successfully stolen, was noted at approximately half the cost of the collateral damage caused during the attack. More unusual attempted thefts of ATMs in the US, included an incident where two suspects mistook a jukebox for an ATM, and another incident where the suspect realised his rope was not long enough to reach from the ATM to his vehicle. During the attack, which lasted two hours, attempts to extend the rope with electrical cable and sheets proved fruitless. UK police arrested three suspects following the theft of an ATM which had been installed on a temporary basis during the London Olympics last year. In the UAE, four brothers confessed to the theft of an ATM using a rope and vehicle, while under the influence of drugs. Four suspects in the UK attempted to cut open an ATM using a torch but fled after an alarm was activated.

Explosive Attacks

Although arrests continued to be made, ATM bombings persisted in South Africa during February.


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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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