ATM debit card thefts on rise in US

FICO, credit scoring and analytics firm based in US reports that debit card fraud hit 20 year high

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Thieves have been tapping into automated teller machines owned by banks and privately owned kiosk machines in the United States in order to steal confidential information which is then used to steal from victims. Conversely, retailers have been taking extra measures  to prevent card fraudulence.

According to FICO, a San Jose based software company, attacks on bank owned ATMs have hiked to 174 percent within the first three months of 2015, compared to the same time in 2014 while independently owned ATM attacks have reached 317 percent, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“These tremendous spikes in fraud are unprecedented,” said John Buzzard, who manages FICO’s card-alert service.

Banks have recently increased their security measures to cease the crime rate by issuing new bank cards fitted with computerised chips. This way thieves have less control over the new technology, making it more difficult for them to access data. However, not all ATMs are compatible with the new card technology forcing banks to install ATMs with recent technology.   

In order to cope with the issue, J.P. Morgan and Bank of America have recently begun installing more advanced machines. A Bank of America spokeswoman wouldn’t comment on whether they have seen an increase in fraud, while a J.P. Morgan spokesman said the bank expects attacks on its ATMs to decline this year due to enhanced security.

TRTWorld and agencies