Card skimming at European ATMs reaches six year low

The European ATM Security Team (EAST) has reported another fall in ATM related card skimming incidents, while card trapping incidents and ATM explosive attacks continue to rise.
EDINBURGH, Scotland - April 9, 2014 - PRLog -- EAST has reported a 5% decrease in ATM related fraud attacks, down from 22,450 to 21,346 in 2013.  5,822 card skimming incidents were reported, down by 19% from the 7,184 incidents reported in 2012.  Skimming incidents have now fallen for three successive years and are down 45% from the high of 10,497 incidents reported in 2008.  Card trapping incidents increased 98% (up from 2,726 to 5,394 in 2013).  Trapped cards can be used in the EMV environment (if the PIN has also been compromised).

Losses due to ATM related fraud attacks fell 7%, down from €265 million to €248 million, and nearly 50% below the high of €485 million reported in 2008.  The majority of these losses continue to be due to card skimming attacks, which fell 7% from €260 million to €241 million.  The majority (83%) of ATM related card skimming losses continue to be international (losses outside national borders by criminals using stolen card details) with most occurring in countries outside of Europe.  Such losses decreased by 9% when compared to 2012 and are mainly now occurring in the USA, Latin America and Asia-Pacific.

EAST Director and Coordinator Lachlan Gunn said, "This continued fall in ATM related skimming incidents and losses is very good news for the industry and our customers, and highlights the effectiveness of EMV*, regional card blocking and fraud monitoring and detection.  We are aware of a developing trend of ATM related malware attacks in other parts of the world which, combined with the discontinuation of Microsoft support for Windows XP this month, gives some cause for concern.  Our Expert Group on ATM Fraud (EGAF) is focussed on this emerging threat, working with law enforcement, the main ATM vendors and organisations that specialise in computer security.”

ATM related physical attacks increased by 9% when compared with 2012 (up from 1,920 to 2,102 incidents), driven by a 31% increase in reported solid explosive and explosive gas attacks.  696 such attacks were reported, the fifth successive annual increase and up from a low point of 117 attacks in 2008.  Eleven countries reported such attacks, five of them countries with more than 40,000 ATMs installed.

Losses due to ATM related physical attacks rose 21% to €23 million (up from €19 million in 2012).  The average cash loss for ram raids/ATM burglary (which includes solid explosive and explosive gas attacks) was €11,393 per incident, up from €9,705 in 2012.  While on average 40% of such attacks do not result in cash loss, collateral damage to equipment and buildings can be significant.

*EMV (also known as ‘chip and PIN’) is an industry standard for Smart Cards and card readers, supported by the European Payments Council and the major payment schemes

A summary of the report statistics under the main headings is in the table.  The full report, with breakdowns for each crime category, is available to EAST members and subscribers on the EAST website


(Background data on the report & EAST follow)

EUROPEAN ATM CRIME REPORT 2013, Period: January to December 2013

The above release is based on a report prepared twice-yearly by EAST to provide an overview of the European ATM crime situation for law enforcement officers and EAST members, using statistics provided from 23 European states. The following countries, with an estimated total installed base of 390,323 ATMs, supplied full or partial information for this report:

Austria;  Belgium;  Czech Republic; Denmark;  Finland;  France;  Germany;  Greece;  Ireland;  Italy;  Liechtenstein;  Luxembourg;  Malta;  the Netherlands;  Norway;  Poland;  Portugal;  Romania; Slovakia;  Spain;  Sweden;  Switzerland;  the United Kingdom.

EAST intends to obtain such information from all 28 European Union states as well as from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

EAST has taken reasonable measures to develop the Report this press release is based on and to report in a fair, reasonable, open, and objective manner.  However, EAST makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the completeness of the underlying data.  In addition, as the information in the report has been passed to EAST by other parties, errors or mistakes may exist or be discovered.  Neither EAST nor its members, authors, or agents shall be liable for any loss, damage, or claim with respect to any such information being provided.  All such liabilities, including direct, special, indirect, or consequential damages, are expressly disclaimed and excluded.


Founded in February 2004, EAST celebrated its 10th Anniversary at the 32nd Meeting of National Members held in Brussels on 12th February 2014.

EAST is a ‘non-profit’ organisation whose National Members are committed to gathering information from, and disseminating EAST reports to ATM deployers and networks within their countries/regions.  While the main focus of EAST is on ATMs, the group also focuses on all payment terminals that have a direct impact on crime perpetrated at ATM locations.

Our mission is to gather and provide information to the European ATM industry and to facilitate effective representation of ATM related security issues at relevant European central institutions, through a pan-European co-ordination of ATM security resources.

EAST has set up a framework network structure to improve co-operation with industry, law enforcement, and in particular Europol, in order to achieve awareness and better results in the fight against organised cross-border crime.  EAST National Members represent 29 countries with a total deployment of 640,582 ATMs.

The EAST Expert Group on ATM Fraud (EGAF), formed in May 2013, provides a European specialist expert forum for discussion of ATM related fraud trends, fraud methodologies and counter-measures, and for the provision of regularly updated  lists of known devices used for card or PIN or data compromise, for cash trapping, and for lists of known counter-measures. Through a new system of ATM Fraud Alerts EAST is able to communicate important and timely information to its National and Associate Members.

In May 2014 EAST will launch the EAST Expert Group on ATM Physical Attacks (EGAP) to provide a European specialist expert forum for discussion of ATM related physical attack trends, attack methodologies and counter-measures.

More information can be found at

European ATM Security Team Ltd
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Tags:Atm Security, Card skimming, Explosive gas attacks, ATM Windows XP Migration, Atm Fraud
Industry:Banking, Financial
Location:Edinburgh - Edinburgh - Scotland
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