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How ATM scammers steal customer information

| 05/06/2015 | 0 Comments

(CNS Business): Devices that capture your debit card information at ATMs are becoming more popular with crooks. On a global scale, data reports show “ATM skimming” is on the rise, and its also plaguing local ATMs in the Cayman Islands. The fraud technique has already succeeded in stealing around $250,000 this year. CNS Business wanted to investigated how banks in Cayman have or plan to better protect their customers from falling victim to this crime. However, we did not receive one reply to help reassure customers before press time. CNS Business reached out to the CEO of Cayman National Bank, where the most recent skimming incident occurred, and also to other bank leaders from Scotiabank, Butterfield and RBS.

The ATM Industry Association describes skimming as one of the industry’s most recurrent fraud threats. In a recent report done just last month by the US Secret Service, it said global losses due to the “skimming scheme” are estimated to be more than $2 billion annually and growing.

CNS Business

Bulgarian credit card scammer, Andon Smilyanov

It’s a crime that hits home in Cayman. This week a Bulgarian school teacher pleaded guilty to two counts of the theft and was sentenced to 16 months behind bars for skimming hundreds of customers cards. Andon Smilyanov allegedly set up a mini-spy camera at two Cayman National Bank ATMs, Fosters in Airport Centre and The Strand, and cloned the details of around 200 customers using a device that fits over the card reader of the machines. The suspect was caught on camera and arrested before he managed to withdrawal any cash. However, in May a group of Romanians managed to steal an estimated $250,000 from local ATM machines before they were caught, using cloned cards that had been skimmed in other countries.

The ATM thieves use a device that fits over the card slot to read the magnetic strip on a customer’s card to get their account number. The hidden camera captures the customers key strokes as they put in their PIN number and then the crooks use that information to burn a blank card to access your money.

Last year, ATM skimming attacks jumped by 12 per cent and now represent 92 per cent of all fraud at ATMs around the world, making skimming the number one ATM crime globally, according to ATM Industry Association reports.

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Category: Featured, Finance, Financial Crime, Local Business, Video

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