ATM Fraud & Security Digest

The ATM Fraud & Security Digest for May has been published. 


  • South Africa reported continuing ATM bombing attacks.
  • In Germany a bank was almost completely destroyed when the attackers used an excessive quantity of explosives in a failed attack.
  • The USA reported “leaving transaction live” frauds which primarily exploits ATMs with Dip or Swipe card readers.
  • The UK & US continued to report increased card trapping incidents. 
  • In Canada, distraction techniques included spraying victims with faeces to facilitate pick pocketing of cash from victims who had recently used ATMs.
  • The UK, Australia, Macedonia, India, Switzerland, China, Thailand, USA, Canada, Finland and South Africa were among the countries reporting skimming attacks.  A number of skimming devices were spotted by consumers before they became victims. 
  • Examples of law enforcement activity that demonstrates the international aspects of ATM skimming included Romanian authorities shutting down a large scale ATM skimming factory, seizing ATM skimming devices and other evidence. 
  • In the USA, the FBI closed down two Bulgarian organized crime groups linked to ATM skimming. 
  • Phishing attacks in India included fund transfer fraud which went undetected for some time as the attacker deactivated the SMS / Text alert service that the victim had set up on his on-line bank account.  The Phishing e-mail was traced to Nigeria but the funds were transferred into local Indian accounts which were subsequently seized by authorities. 
  • The USA continued to report a large number of vishing attacks with the common theme of encouraging the victims to re-activate cards. 
  • Successful thefts in the USA included incidents of CCTV and alarm sabotage. 
  • In a failed theft incident in the USA, the perp was able to break through a bank’s brick wall but was unable to break open the ATM security enclosure. 
  • “Ramming raids” in the UK and the USA involved a range of vehicles including mechanical diggers, forklift trucks and vans.  In one UK incident which failed, the perps deployed homemade Stingers (nail spiked pipes) to delay a police response. 
  • In India, failed attempts included an incident where a guard prevented the manual removal of an ATM.  Also in India, a separate attack succeeded while the guards were apparently asleep. 
  • In India thefts from ATMs included an internal theft which exploited a failure to follow dual control procedures.