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Home DFR Observations & Comment ATM Fraud & Security Digest - August 2010
ATM Fraud & Security Digest - August 2010 E-mail
Written by Douglas Russell   
Wednesday, 01 September 2010 20:10

Card Cloning /ATM Skimming / Skimming / EFTPOS Compromise

India experienced an increase in cards being compromised throughout August. In the USA, while ATM and fuel pump skimming continued, an apparent new method (in the US) of gift card compromise was detected. The suspect temporarily gained access to gift cards that had not yet been activated, cloned the cards, replaced them, and used an online balance checking service to detect when they had been activated. Once activated and loaded with cash, the suspect would present a re-encoded cloned card to realize the value on the genuine gift card. Jamaica reported card and PIN compromise. Cameras were used to record PIN entry. ATM skimming in Canada included incidents of equipment being recovered. The UK continued to report ATM skimming. Eastern European organized crime was linked to ATM skimming incidents in Australia.

Explosive Attacks

South Africa continued to experience ATM bombing attacks often utilizing explosives acquired from the mining industry; various arrests were made during August. In Argentina, an ATM was targeted with explosives, the apparent motive being terrorism.

Card Trapping / Card Theft / Distraction / Card Swapping

Distraction techniques included the theft of cash by two female suspects in France. Their technique involved ‘flashing' their breasts at the victim. Card trapping continued in Europe, particularly the UK during August.

System Compromise /Transaction Reversal Fraud / Denomination Fraud

Police in France arrested a further suspect linked to the 2008 compromise of a US-based processor and the extremely well-organized fraudulent spend, estimated at $9.5m, which was withdrawn from around 2,000 ATMs in one day in many different countries.

Safe Cutting / Safe Breaking / Theft from ATM

In the USA, while some attacks used power tools, a female suspect was recorded on CCTV attempting to access cash using a hammer. Frontal attacks were also reported in the UK. In India, matchsticks were used to gain access to an ATM cabinet, but not the cash in the security enclosure (safe). In the USA, suspects were arrested after triggering the alarm during a failed attempt to steal from an ATM. The rapid police response to the alarm was assisted due to the proximity of the police station to the crime scene. In Australia, tools used included a sledgehammer.

Phishing / Vishing / Advanced Fee / Funds Transfer Fraud

The UK's Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) disrupted a large organized phishing network and made a number of arrests. The network is thought to have compromised 10,000 online bank accounts and 10,000 payment cards. Reports stated that an attempt was made to obtain £1.14m from online bank accounts, with actual losses estimated at over £300,000.  The value of payment card fraud linked to the network is estimated at £3m. In Indonesia, the central bank encouraged individual retail banks to set up their own electronic banking security departments. Advanced fee fraud (419 fraud), originating in Nigeria, was reported in many regions. Other versions of phishing, including vishing and smishing (smsishing), were reported globally. In Thailand, arrests were made in an ongoing investigation into fake call centres linked to funds transfer fraud.

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

Police in Thailand hunted suspects, believed to be from Serbia, following the theft of ATMs. In one incident, an ATM was recovered devoid of cash estimated at Bt4.3 million. Authorities believe they have identified the suspects and placed them at the crime scenes following reviews of cell phone activity linked to the attacks. In India, a spate of ATM thefts led one bank to consider not leaving their ATMs filled with cash while the branch was closed. In the USA, forklift trucks, tractors and a range of other vehicles were used to remove ATMs. In Canada, RCMP (police) charged a group linked to a spate of ATM thefts that resulted in direct financial losses and extensive property damage. In Ireland, police have linked a Traveller gang to a number of ATM thefts. In the UK, a police dog unit assisted in arresting three suspects and the recovery of a stolen ATM containing £20,000. Local residents in Saudi Arabia prevented the theft of an ATM by surrounding the suspects and forcing them to leave after they pulled the ATM from the wall with ropes attached to their vehicle. Most failed attempts in August were attributed to superior anchoring and both ropes and chains breaking.

Deposit Fraud / Fake Deposit / False Deposit / Cheque Fraud

In the USA, students were warned not to allow others to use their ATM cards and PINs to deposit cheques via their ATM account for a commission. The cheques are often counterfeit and will not clear once validated.

Cash in Transit (CIT) Attacks / Replenishment Attacks

In the USA, a reported $11m was stolen in an armoured car (CIT) attack. Various suspects were arrested in the FBI-led investigation, and an amount of the cash was recovered. In South Africa, a guard was shot dead during a CIT attack. In the UK, an imitation firearm was used in a CIT attack. Also in the UK, a suspect was found guilty and sentenced to 16 years imprisonment following a number of CIT / replenishment attacks.


Quick Search Strings:

Theft of ATMs >                                         Failed Theft of ATMs >

Theft From ATMs >                                   ATM Skimming >

Card Trapping >                                         Leaving Transaction Live >

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