Theft of Debit-Card Data From ATMs Soars

by Sarah Grotta 0

According to The Wall Street Journal and FICO, thieves have been focusing on ATM recently;

“Debit-card compromises at ATMs located on bank property jumped 174% from Jan. 1 to April 9, compared with the same period last year, while successful attacks at nonbank machines soared by 317%, according to FICO.”

The thieves are apparently well informed and understand that issuers and ATM owners are still in the midst of deploying security measures that could help to thwart the thieves’ activities such as EMV chip enabled cards and ATMs, encryption and other measures. Don’t expect much change in the near term as despite the alarming spike in attacks. The total losses are still relatively low;

“Tremont Capital Group, a consulting firm that specializes in the ATM industry, predicts that thieves will make at least 1.5 million ATM cash withdrawals this year. Only a portion of the attacks ultimately result in fraudulent transactions. The trend is “alarming, but manageable” because it represents a fraction of total ATM transactions, said Sam Ditzion, chief executive of the Boston-based firm.”

The article provides a decidedly low-tech solution for cardholders to prevent their card from being used fraudulently – cover the PIN pad with their hand to prevent pinhole cameras that the thieves install from recording the card’s PIN.


Overview by Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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