European agency expresses concern over 149% rise in ATM fraud

Enisa According to sources, Enisa, a European security agency, is calling on banks and law enforcement agencies in EU member states to raise awareness of cash machine safety issues following an alarming 149% rise in ATM attacks in 2008.

The European Network and Information Security Agency is urging consumers to be more aware of the risks and take precautions to avoid personal loss, as the annual cost of ATM crime in Europe is approaching EUR500 million. Enisa notes that during 2008 alone a total of 10,302 skimming incidents were reported in Europe. Other methods used to extract money include trapping and then retrieving users’ cards, stopping withdrawals in the middle of a transaction only to complete them when the victim has left and even trapping cash in the machine.

In addition, the agency said that organised criminal gangs are also using sophisticated phishing techniques and hacking into bank computer systems and web sites to obtain PIN and account information. ATM burglaries and physical attacks have also seen an increase by 32% over the last 12 months from ram raids and explosions to the use of rotary saws, thermal lances and diamond drills.

Enisa has published a paper under the title of ‘ATM Crime: Overview of the European situation and golden rules on how to avoid it,’ which offers a list of Golden Rules to maximise protection, and recommends that further information and advice are provided nationally in EU Member States by banks, financial institutions, payment schemes and law enforcement agencies.

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