European ATM fraud attacks up 63% due to cash trapping - East

Source: European ATM Security Team

The European ATM Security Team (East) has reported that cash trapping incidents significantly increased during 2011, while skimming incidents and ATM related fraud losses fell.

Total ATM related fraud incidents increased from 12,383 in 2010, to 20,244 in 2011. Cash trapping accounted for 10,808 incidents, up from just 240 in 2010. During a cash trapping attack criminals prevent cash from a genuine transaction being dispensed - and then remove it when the cardholder has left the ATM. Incidences of card skimming fell by 26% to the lowest level since 2008.

Losses due to ATM related fraud attacks have fallen by 13% from €268 million to €234million. This fall is driven by a continued reduction in losses due to card skimming attacks, which fell 13% from €267million to €232 million. The majority (79%) of ATM related card skimming losses continue to be international (losses outside national borders by criminals using stolen card details) with most occurring in countries outside of Europe. The top three locations for such losses were the USA, the Dominican Republic and Colombia. The drop in losses indicates the benefits of the EMV deployment and also that fraud countermeasures such as geo-blocking, fraud monitoring capabilities and fraud detection continue to improve.

EAST Director and Coordinator Lachlan Gunn said, "While ATM related card skimming incidents and losses have fallen across Europe as a whole, some countries have seen increases, in some cases significant increases. By sharing timely information and statistics EAST members continue to assist each other to tackle evolving threats and trends. There was a surge in cash trapping activity during the first six months of 2011, but this slowed during the second six month period."

Physical attacks on European ATMs fell by 21% when compared with 2010 (down from 2,062 to 1,818 incidents), although the average estimated cash loss for a robbery has risen 34%, up from €15,059 in 2010 to €20,128 in 2011. The number of reported explosive and gas attacks (414) has risen for the second successive year, and is up 49% when compared to the first the first six months of 2010. Overall losses fell 15% to €28 million (down from €33 million in 2010).

*EMV (also known as 'chip and PIN') is an industry standard for Smart Cards and card readers, supported by the European Payments Council and the major payment schemes 

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