European ATM-related fraud losses fell from EUR485 million in 2008 to EUR312 million last year, a 36% drop, despite a rise in attacks, according to figures from industry group East.
East (European ATM Security Team) says international losses due to skimming attacks fell by 43% from EUR393 million to EUR226 million, continuing a downward trend from 2007.
The non-profit claims this is a "further indication" that the EMV rollout at ATMs in Europe (now 94% complete) is helping to reduce skimming losses, and also that fraud counter-measures, monitoring capabilities and detection continue to improve.
Despite this drop in losses, overall ATM-related fraud attacks rose eight per cent, with a total of 13,269 incidents reported, up from 12,278 in 2008. This rise has been led by a 209% increase in the number of cases of card trapping, up to 2166 incidents from 701 in 2008, while the total number of skimming incidents reported decreased by one per cent over the same period.
Meanwhile, physical attacks on European cash machines have fallen by two per cent, to 2468 incidents, primarily due to a decrease in the number of reported ram raids and ATM burglaries, although related losses were up seven per cent to EUR28 million. Attacks on staff involved in the cash replenishment and servicing of ATMs rose by 40%, from 365 to 510 incidents.
Despite the generally positive figures, Lachlan Gunn, director, East, warns that the picture is less clear when data from individual countries is examined.
"For example, eleven of the twenty three reporting countries reported increases in skimming activity, and in some cases a significant increase in skimming related losses, while others reported big falls," says Gunn.
East's data contrasts with a recent report on US ATM crime from Javelin Strategy & Research which found fraudulent withdrawals on the rise. In addition, Javelin warns that fraudsters may increase their attacks on US cash machines as neighbouring countries such as Canada and Mexico migrate to EMV chip cards.