A gang of ATM skimmers has been at work in Queensland with several ATMs in South East Queensland targeted recently, say state police.
State Crime Command Fraud and Cyber Crime Group Detective Superintendent, Brian Hay, said the festive season is a time favoured by international ATM skimming operation groups.
“They fly into the country, travel around the major centres and fly out with thousands of electronically stored compromised accounts,” he said.
In April 2014, New South Wales Police reported that ATM skimmers had targeted more than 40 ATMs around the city since January 2014.
The suburbs targeted included: Artarmon, Avalon, Balmain, Bexley, Bondi Junction, Burwood, Campsie, Caringbah, Chatswood, Clovelly, Dee Why, Double Bay, Dural, Gordon, Hurstville, Haymarket, Kingsford, Mona Vale, Mosman, Neutral Bay, Parramatta, Ramsgate, Rockdale, Seven Hills, Strathfield, St Ives and the Sydney CBD.
According to data from the Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA), over $24 million was fraudulently obtained through skimming and counterfeit cards during the 2014 financial year in Australia. A further $11 million was attributed to cards skimmed overseas and used in Australia.
The Queensland Police Service provided some tips for consumers to avoid getting their card skimmed:
- When using an ATM, look for any suspicious device attached to the card entry point of the machine and always cover your hand when entering your PIN number.
- Examine your monthly statement for suspicious transactions, especially transactions which may appear for $1 or $2 as this indicates your card has been compromised and the criminals are testing the account is still active. If you see this, contact your bank immediately.
- Any suspicious people hanging around an ATM should be reported to police immediately.
- Merchants should be wary of groups of 2 to 4 people seeking to buy multiple high end products and using multiple credit cards to pay for the goods