5 out of 23 countries in the EU are reporting increased targeting of ticket machines by credit card fraudsters. A report published in March by the European ATM Security Team also found increased targeting of pay-at-pump petrol stations (6 countries) and parking ticket meters (2 countries).
The criminals use a technique called skimming to access card details. A skimming device is attached to the machine (sometimes in combination with a camera) and when a customer uses the machine their card details are recorded. This type of skimming, called overlaid skimming, is most common at ATMs.
Once the criminals are in possession of the card details they clone the cards or use the details to purchase goods online. Chip and PIN technology prevents the use of cloned cards. However, chip and PIN is still not widespread in many countries including the US, Brazil, Mexico and Thailand. The majority of card details stolen in Europe are used to make cloned cards outside Europe to withdraw funds.
The report did not identify the countries affected though we know France, Germany, Russia and the UK were among the 23 countries in the data set. According to the UK Cards Association, fraud losses on cards in the UK came to £185m in the first six months of last year.
Prevent Card Fraud
- Cover the keypad as you enter your PIN to prevent anyone nearby or a camera seeing the PIN
- Stand close to the machine and be aware of your surroundings
- If you suspect a skimming device inform the bank/ machine operator
- If your card gets jammed or retained by the machine inform your card issuer immediately
If you are affected by card fraud you are protected by the law if you have acted with reasonable care.
As a small business owner it is important to be aware of the lie of the land in terms of card safety. Card fraud involving chip and PIN machines does occur. Take care to ensure your card machines are safe. If you are offering the facility for customers to pay through a mobile chip and PIN reader which works with your smartphone customers may not be familiar with such a device. It is important the customer trusts you and they know the mobile card machines available in the UK have met rigorous safety standards.