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EAST Reports a 36% Drop in ATM Related Fraud Losses in 2009

EAST (the European ATM Security Team) has reported a 36% drop in ATM related fraud losses in 2009, with total losses of 312 million Euros reported (down from 485 million Euros in 2008). Annual losses due to card skimming have fallen for the first time since EAST began reporting in 2004 (down from 484 million Euros in 2008 to 310 million Euros in 2009).

International losses due to skimming attacks fell by 43% from 393 million Euros to 226 million Euros, continuing a downward trend for each six monthly reporting period first noticed at the end of 2007. This is further indication that the EMV rollout at ATMs in Europe (now 94% complete) is helping to reduce skimming losses, and also that fraud counter-measures, fraud monitoring capabilities and fraud detection continue to improve. Losses continue to be reported globally, and the risk of counterfeit EMV cards being used to withdraw cash fraudulently from ATMs in parts of the world that are not EMV compliant remains.

Despite this drop in losses, overall ATM related fraud attacks rose 8% with a total of 13,269 incidents reported (up from 12,278 incidents in 2008). This rise has been led by a 209% increase in the number of cases of card trapping (up to 2,166 incidents from 701 in 2008), while the total number of skimming incidents reported decreased by 1% over the same period. EAST first reported an increase in card trapping incidents at the end of the first six month period in 2009 and the figures for the second six months have shown a further increase. Assuming the PIN has been compromised, a captured EMV card can be fraudulently used at EMV compliant ATMs and other payment terminals, until it is blocked by the issuing bank.

EAST Director and co-ordinator, Lachlan Gunn said, "EAST reports on global figures for Europe as a whole, and the situation in individual countries can be very different to the overall European picture. For example, eleven of the twenty three reporting countries reported increases in skimming activity, and in some cases a significant increase in skimming related losses, while others reported big falls. EAST provides a forum where national representatives can hold frank discussions on what is actually happening in each country, with a view to assisting both the industry and cross-border law enforcement to counter existing and emerging threats."

Physical attacks on European ATMs, have fallen by 2% when compared with 2008 (down from 2,520 to 2,468 incidents), primarily due to a decrease in the number of reported ram raids and ATM burglaries. Despite this drop in incidents, overall losses rose 7% to 28 million Euros (up from 26 million Euros in 2008). Attacks on staff involved in the cash replenishment and servicing of ATMs rose by 40% (from 365 to 510 incidents) although the number is still well below the 1,950 cases reported in 2007.



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