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19 October 2012

EAST: ATM-related skimming losses on the rise

The European ATM Security Team this week reported a 15 percent increase in ATM-related skimming losses, despite a 13 percent fall in skimming incidents. The majority of these losses occurred outside of Europe in countries where EMV has not yet been adopted, or where the rollout of EMV compliant ATMs is not yet complete.

Overall ATM-related fraud attacks decreased from 11,220 incidents during the first six months of 2011 to 9,595 for the first six months of 2012. But losses due to ATM-related fraud attacks increased by 17 percent from €112 million ($144 million) in the first six months of 2011 to €131 million ($169 million) for the same period of 2012. Of these losses, the vast majority (€128 million, $165 million) are still due to card skimming. Skimming attacks now make up 35 percent of the European total with cases of card trapping, cash trapping and transaction reversal fraud accounting for the rest.

"What we are seeing is criminals working harder for less return," said EAST director and coordinator Lachlan Gunn. While skimming-related losses have risen, they are still well below previous levels and, increasingly, the criminals are being driven outside Europe to realize them. This indicates the effectiveness of fraud countermeasures such as anti-skimming solutions and geo-blocking, fraud monitoring and fraud detection.

"While incidences of other types of ATM-related fraud continue to rise, the losses are very low when compared to skimming. We are pleased to see that cases of cash trapping, which spiked at this time last year, have now started to decrease due to the roll out of counter-measures.”

ATM-related physical attacks on European ATMs have increased by 13 percent when compared with the first six months of 2011 (up from 857 to 968 incidents), driven by an increase in ram raids and ATM burglary. The number of reported explosive and gas attacks (194) has fallen by 11 percent when compared to the same period in 2011.

Overall reported losses due to ATM physical attacks have fallen by 43 percent, although this is partly due to the fact that some countries, which previously reported such losses, are now no longer able to do so. 


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