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ATM compromises in the US rise 546%

The number of ATM compromises in the US  by criminals rose 546% in 2015 over 2014, analytic software firm FICO reports.

The number of ATM compromises in 2015 was the highest ever recorded by the FICO Card Alert

GreenDispenser malware used to steal millions from ATM’s

                ATM Compromises in US                                        Jumped Six-Fold in 2015

Service, which monitors hundreds of thousands of ATMs in the US. Criminal activity was highest at non-bank ATMs, such as those in convenience stores, where 10 times as many machines were compromised as in 2014. FICO first reported on the sharp growth in ATM fraud on its blog last May.

FICO also reported that ATM compromises were taking place over fewer days. The average duration of an ATM compromise fell from 36 days in 2014 to 14 days in 2015. The average number of cards affected by a compromise was cut in half.

“Criminals are taking a quick-hit approach to ATM theft and card fraud,” explains TJ Horan, vice president of fraud solutions at FICO. “They are moving faster to make it harder for banks to react and shut down the compromises. They are targeting non-bank ATMs, which are more vulnerable — in 2015, non-bank ATMs accounted for 60% of all compromises, up from 39% in 2014.”

ATM compromises in 2015 also spread out across the country, whereas in 2014 the compromises were concentrated in large cities on the East Coast and West Coast. Horan said that ATM operators need to increase the frequency of their inspections, looking carefully for any signs of tampering.

“To protect themselves from this kind of fraud, cardholders should be more vigilant,” Horan said. He offered the following tips for consumers:

  • If an ATM looks odd, or your card doesn’t enter the machine smoothly, consider going somewhere else for your cash.
  • Contact your card issuer if you have completed a transaction and suspect that your card or PIN may have been compromised.
  • Check your card transactions frequently, using online banking and your monthly statement.
  • Ask your card provider if they offer account alert technology that will deliver SMS text communications or emails to you in the event that fraudulent activity is suspected on your payment card.
  • Update your address and cell phone information for every card you have, so that you can be reached if there is ever a critical situation that requires your immediate attention.

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