The continuing vulnerability of the Australian banking sector to counterfeit card fraud has been highlighted by the discovery of a complete ATM skimming device, with video-transmitting pin hole camera, from an ATM at Pyrmont in inner-city Sydney.
The mag-stripe skimmer was discovered by a 38-year old Randwick woman as she was about to use the cash machine at the front foyer of the Syndey Fish Markets. Its discovery follows a wave of ATM fraud in Australia perpetrated by criminal gangs capturing customer data during cash machine transactions.
Acting detective inspector Michael Gerondis of the NSW police says it is the first complete device recovered in Australia.
He says: "We recovered the device, which was connected by short wires to the top plate housing a pin hole video-transmitting camera and microchip storage device."
He says other customers who used the ATM can be reassured by the fact that no cards were compromised as the device had not been retrieved or the information downloaded.
Gerondis advises consumers using cash machines to place their second hand over the key pad, shielding their PIN from hidden video cameras or shoulder surfers.
The recent outbreak of fraud has stunned the Australian banking sector and stimulated intense debate about protective measures, including a national switch to smart cards or the introduction of new technology to prevent mag-stripe skimming.