‘Sophisticated’ card skimming devices manufactured using computer-aided design and 3D printers have been deployed by suspected Romanian criminals in Sydney, according to police.
The devices, found in fifteen ATMs across the city, have affected tens of thousands of people and raked in roughly $100,000 for the suspected Romanian fraudsters. One Romanian national was arrested and charged after a money transfer officer contacted the police, who formed a dedicated force in June to crackdown on illegal skimming.
Obtaining the credit card details alone isn’t enough for the criminals, who also have to install a miniature camera in each ATM machine in order to record each user’s PIN number. Without its PIN, each card is unable to be used to take cash out, making the card almost useless.
Describing the criminals’ method to iTnews, Detective Superintendent Col Dyson from the NSW Fraud and Cybercrime Squad explained that to receive the stolen data from an ATM, a card skimmer generally has to position themselves within 100m of the machine. Captured details can then be turned into clones of the cards, which when used in conjunction with the PIN can access the owner’s bank account and be used to spend or withdraw money.
While banks have advanced the ways in which they can limit card crime, criminals often update their methods, leading to a constant tug of war between the two. While skimming devices may be almost impossible to detect, as the PIN is used to unlock any stolen card details Dyson advises anybody using a card machine to simply use a hand to hide their PIN input.