Ocean's Eleven-like ATM scam coming our way soon
By Jason Buckland, Sympatico / MSN Finance
After I sifted through the sigh-inducing “No, dude! Stock up on ur Grey Goose bottles cuz da LCBO’s strikin!!!!!” status updates last night, a few more concerning messages stood out on my Facebook news feed.
Updates from three different people complained they had just been ripped off by ATM fraud in and around the GTA, one friend having lost $1,200 after his info was cloned when he used his card to pay for lunch at a local deli.
Now, I’ve had my Visa compromised recently but, thankfully, they took the initiative and cancelled my card before anything could happen. To my knowledge, as well, most of the victims of the debit rip-offs had their cash reimbursed by their banks which – for whatever reason – all happened to be TD.
But what’s becoming quite apparent lately is that ATM crooks are displaying Danny Ocean-like sophistication in their methods of theft. And while the local criminals indeed seem to be stepping up their game, it’s no comparison to some of the heists now being seen overseas.
The world’s ATM users have been put on high alert by a new scam coming out of Russia and Ukraine that employs what New Scientist magazine calls a “devious piece of criminal coding” that allows thieves to pluck all your debit card info right from the cash machine.
Here’s how the con is working: a crook walks up to an ATM and inserts a “trigger” card loaded with malicious malware that orders the machine’s receipt printer to spit out a list of all the debit card numbers used that day, complete with their start/expiry dates and PIN codes.
As the article points out, the info is “everything needed, in fact, to clone those cards and start emptying bank accounts.” If the trigger cards are used on older, front-loaded ATMs, the thief can sometimes even force the machine to eject its cash storage cassette right on the spot.
While the world’s security firms scratch their heads over this new wave of crime, you have to admit, the coding required to pull off such a scam must be pretty ingenious. But if you’re like me, you’re probably wondering one thing. How the hell did the banks not see this coming?
Well, as it turns out, they did. The trigger cards, tests have found, only work on ATMs manually-loaded with software similar to the Auto Complete feature on Windows that keeps you from having to retype your password each time to access the same website ten times a day.
How that software is getting loaded onto the ATMs is the bigger question, leading authorities to believe these are inside jobs, possibly involving organized crime syndicates “using bribes or threats to encourage shop staff to provide access to a standalone ATM in a shop or mall,” according to New Scientist.
This all sounds like the plot of a Jason Statham movie to me, but with experts suggesting the technology will soon spread like wildfire to Asia and North America, we should probably all start taking even more precautions than usual with our banking security.
And it might be unfair to speculate, yet judging by the names of the four men just charged in Toronto with ATM fraud, maybe the eastern European influence on advanced cash machine rip-offs has arrived here sooner than we thought.
Posted by: axiom | Jun 24, 2021 4:28:16 PM
Ever since the collaspe of the Soviet Union, the whole country has been run by the Russian Mafia.
So this article and it's link in the last paragraph is not surprising.
Posted by: thefreakingenius | Jun 24, 2021 10:55:39 PM
Recently I ordered a small sample of Resveratrol as advertised on MSN - pay shipping and handling only. They're a reputable organization that vetts their advertisers - right? WRONGGGGGG!!!!! It took 1.5 mo's for the sample to eventuallyarrive. But every 2 weeks my card was dinged for $79.95. Each time the dealer name was different and the phone # was different (but the dealer # was the same). Each time they promised to reverse the charges. NO PRODUCT was ever received AND there is NO WAY to notify MSN about any scam. Could it be that they don't care? Thankfully my bank reversed the charges and sent in a complaint to Visa. I think that we need legislation that forces ALL MEDIA to properly vett their advertisers instead of simply chasing the almighty dollar and leaving us to fend for ourselves. Don't they realize that consumer response to advertising is THE ONLY THING THAT KEEPS THE MEDIA IN BUSINESS. It sure isn't the sterling quality of their content!!!!
Posted by: armlecker | Jun 25, 2021 5:07:16 AM
Everyone who has been duped and lost money on ATM MC`s ,creditcards aso, should blame himself and shouldn`t cry wolf after but should learn from it .Since I travel a lot even overseas , I can suggest the following .Go to your bank and get cash .I do get Euros .One can exchange it to the domination of the country one visits at a bank there .Cost a little but one is safe .No problem with accreditted Hotels and carrentals .Don`t use creditcards for meals or souveniers .Pay cash .If you run short of cash phone your homebank and have it tranfered to your hotel . it works .I opened up an account in europe with a safe bank transferd money from here .it is faster if you are there and need some .here i never use my creditcard on ATM`s or buy something on TV advertised articles who want your Cr. card numbers .One is open to misuse. Sofar i am OK .But I could fall for some new innovation of moneyfroud in the future .I may be some help to someone who uses these cr cards to avoid a disaster . Good luck
Posted by: English teacher | Jun 26, 2021 10:01:51 PM
Armlecker.... Please tell me, where did you learn how to use punctuation? I have never seen it used at the beginning of a sentence. Is this some new thing?
Oh wait let me try it:
Please tell me ,where did you learn how to use punctuation ?I have never seen it used at the beginning of a sentence .Is this some new thing ?Oops where to I put the last question mark ?Oops I did it again...........
Posted by: DrVex007 | Jun 30, 2021 1:26:35 AM
armlecker?? Your paint brush attack on anyone who has been duped with their ATM card is not only misguided, but your solution is garbage also. So let me get this straight. Cash is safe??? Okay so if these thieves cannot steal your ATM info, then there is no way that they could bash your head in and take your cash????
No bank machine limits and if you are in another country, good luck getting the police to help you. As soon as they hear your awesome solution to ATM fraud, they will laugh in your face and suggest that you asked for the mugging by carryng cash around.
I suggest the following. Use your ATM card. It is the bank's responsibility to protect the security of your card. If they fail, that's their problem. Just protect your pin number and use your card in reputable establishments.
Posted by: doug | Jul 5, 2021 12:55:08 PM
When travelling in a foreign country and in need of cash use your bank card at a bank's ATM not an independant machine. It seems to me that its the independant machines and small retail establishments that contain the source of ATM fraud - not the banks machines. Simple.