Debit Card Fraud at the ATM Soars

Stories of fraud at the ATM are becoming all too familiar. But just how often are criminals stealing card data from automated teller machines here in the U.S.?

According to FICO, a credit scoring and analytics firm, criminals are stealing card data from ATMs in the United States at the highest rate in two decades. From January 1 to April 9, 2015, FICO tracked such incidents through its Card Monitoring Services for financial institutions, which represents more than 65% of all U.S. debit cards. Debit card compromises at ATMs located on bank property jumped 174% from January to April, compared to the same period last year, while successful attacks at non-bank machines soared by 317%, as recorded by FICO.

These incidents come as FIs are racing to issue new chip-enabled credit and debit cards that will make it more difficult for thieves to create counterfeits. Despite ongoing efforts to speed up EMV migration, it will be some time until the U.S. is completely EMV-ready. Between distributing chip-enabled cards to the general population and upgrading or installing new equipment that is EMV-compliant, there is still a lot of work to be done. Criminals in the U.S. have recognized this and are taking their last shot at ATM cashout opportunities via counterfeited cards and stolen PINs. For now, financial institutions should invest in anti-skimming technology and thoroughly monitor their ATMs for suspicious devices.

Skimmers are the Culprits

Many of the ATM fraud incidents mentioned above have involved a long-established technique known as skimming. ATM skimming is like identity theft for debit cards. Thieves use hidden electronics to copy personal data from the magnetic stripe on an ATM card. Generally, a skimming device is accompanied with a PIN capturing device/camera. Criminals are then able to manufacture counterfeit debit cards using the stolen information.

What the Experts Advise

  • When entering your PIN, always cover the keypad with your other hand.
  • Be wary of anything suspicious at the ATM such as loose equipment, scratches, sticky tape residue, etc.
  • Avoid non-bank or standalone ATM locations. These locations are more susceptible because it is easier to install skimming devices in isolated areas. It is also easier for thieves to go undetected in these locations.
  • When in doubt, don’t use the ATM!

NuSource Recommends TMD’s Anti-Skimming Protection

As criminal techniques become more sophisticated, protection against ATM skimming becomes even more essential. TMD Security, the global leader in anti-skimming for ATMs and self-service terminals, offers security solutions to help you beat skimming fraud. TMD’s patented solutions secure over 250,000 ATMs globally. Whether you’re looking to apply digital, analogue or stereo anti-skimming systems, TMD offers the complete anti-skimming package. Until all deployers in the U.S. install anti-skimming protection to their ATMs, the number of domestic skimming incidents and the cash losses associated with them will continue to rise.

For more information on skimming and the best ways you can prevent it, sign up for our upcoming TMD Skimming Webinar, or contact your NuSource representative!

Skip to toolbar