Criminals have invented a card skimmer you can barely see

Security

by Jimmy Nicholls| 08 July 2014

Card fraudsters are getting smarter as ATM security gets better.

A new, ultra-thin type of ATM skimmer has been identified by the European ATM Security Team (East) in its latest report.

The thin skimmer improves on previous designs by fitting directly inside the card slot, but was only seen in one country that the non-profit group investigated.

"New versions of insert skimmers (skimmers placed inside the card reader throat) are getting harder to detect," the report said.

Insert skimmers work with small cameras embedded in a façade that sits in front of the keypad, with the aim of stealing a customer pin and gaining access to their bank accounts.

However the design allows vigilant customers to reduce their susceptibility to fraud by covering the keypad with their hand as they put in their details.

Other threats identified in the report include mobile powered skimmers that send stolen data to the thief's phone, or MP3 skimmers that turns card data into sound waves.

East said: "European fraud counter-measures such as Geo-blocking, fraud monitoring capabilities and fraud detection continue to improve and most ATM related card skimming losses occur outside Europe and are migrating away from EMV Chip [and pin] liability shift areas."

European cards and cash points tend to rely on chip and pin to provide greater security for card users, but most still contain magnetic strips used in travel abroad, opening up the potential for fraud.

Skimming losses were reported to East year in 43 territories outside of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) this year, and only four within it, with the US being the most common location for those losses.

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