New ATM skimming method found

Police have already caught two suspects in an elaborate fraud scheme

Municipal Police have uncovered a new method being used to manipulate ATMs. While two suspects have already been caught, others could try the same scheme, and people should always check for skimmers and cover their PIN from hidden cameras as they enter it.

Police were surprised to find a previously unknown method of skimming, or capturing personal banking data. A device that could hardly be detected was inserted directly into the ATM's slot for the payment card. A camera to capture the PIN code as it is being entered was inserted into the ATM's illumination and connected to the machine’s own electricity. There was no need for an external power source, as in conventional cases. A bank technician came to the scene of the crime and could not immediately tell that there was a skimming device installed in the ATM.

The client's defense against this type of skimming is to consistently cover the PIN code as they enter it so that a hidden camera cannot see what numbers they typed on the keyboard. The people skimming the bank data have no chance to get money because they lack a PIN, without which the identifying data retrieved from the payment card is useless.

The second way to defend yourself is to use a contactless way of withdrawing money when the card is not inserted into the ATM and only touched to it. In this case, the perpetrators so far cannot retrieve the data from the card and will not be able to access your money.

The police, thanks to a tip from a member of the public, detained two men just after they had installed this new type of skimmer on a cash machine at Táboritská Street in Prague 3.

An attentive citizen noticed the strange behavior of two men at an ATM on the night of April 12 and called the police emergency number.

The nearest police patrols detained two suspicious men, identified only as 41-year-old foreigners, near the ATM. Czech privacy laws forbid disclosing identifying details of people who have not been convicted.

The two suspects had already left the area after successfully installed the skimmers in the ATM. They were caught with a range of evidence related to the crime including radio receivers to collect the bank data.

Both men ended up at the police station, where they admitted to skimming. The police have initiated criminal prosecution with them for the offense of counterfeiting and alteration of payment instruments, which can lead to eight years in prison. They are currently being held in custody.

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