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IPSO renews appeal to cardholders to keep PINs safe

June 24th, 2010


IPSO renews its appeal to cardholders to keep PINs secure

24th June – The crime of card skimming at ATMs has reared its ugly head again, with a number of Eastern European criminal gangs becoming active in the past couple of months, for the first time since early 2009.

Amounts of up to €60k have been absorbed by individual banks already this year due to the reappearance of this crime. While the majority of ATMs in Ireland now have anti-skimming devices installed, the criminals appear to be targeting the small number of machines that don't yet have the solution in place. In a similar manner to before, the criminals are using skimming devices at the throat of the ATM which captures the card details on entry. They use a micro-camera which captures an image of the PIN as the customer openly keys it in. They then use the genuine card details to create fake cards, which are used at ATMs abroad, in countries where Chip & PIN has not yet been implemented.

More than 23 incidents of ATM skimming have been reported to date to IPSO this year. Only a small portion of those attacks were successful while anti-skimming devices foiled the majority of attempts. In the rare circumstances where criminals were successful, the ATM card issuers continue to absorb the fraud losses and refund their customers.

IPSO appeals to cardholders to keep their PINs safe from prying eyes when using a PIN pad at an ATM or in shops. A very simple technique of covering the PIN pad with the free hand when keying in a PIN will mean that the criminals cannot use the card details for fraud. It's simple, but it works!

The banking industry is working tirelessly together with the Gardaí to keep these scams to a minimum and to ensure that the remaining ATMs in Ireland are upgraded to include the relevant anti-skimming technology. The Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation (GBFI) has made significant arrests in the past month relating to ATM skimming and continues to be successful in the fight against this crime.

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