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ENISA warns of alarming increase in ATM crime

Friday December 11 2009

With the annual cost of ATM crime in Europe approaching half a billion Euros, the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA), is urging consumers to be more aware of the risks and take precautions to avoid personal loss.  

With the annual cost of ATM crime in Europe approaching half a billion Euros, the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA), is urging consumers to be more aware of the risks and take precautions to avoid personal loss.

 

It said the rapid growth in the number of ATMs, combined with more sophisticated attacks and fraud has resulted in an alarming 149% rise in ATM attacks in 2008.

 

These worrying findings, along with information and case studies highlighting the different ATM crimes and recommendations to help detect and prevent them, are published this week in a paper by ENISA entitled 'ATM Crime: Overview of the European situation and golden rules on how to avoid it'.

 

The number of ATMs in Europe increased 6% last year to almost 400,000, with many now found in remote site locations such as convenience stores, airports and petrol stations. Seventy-two percent of European ATMs are located in just five countries: UK, Spain, Germany, France and Italy.

 

"ATMs are attractive to criminals because they contain bank notes, while the bank cards themselves give thieves access to customers' bank accounts," said Andrea Pirotti, executive director at ENISA. "Looking ahead, ATM crime is likely to become even more attractive as the latest generation of ATMs is designed to dispense other services and products such as phone top ups and stamps. The first line of defence against ATM crime is increasing awareness of the risks so that users can take simple precautions such as shielding their PIN when entering it and by keeping alert to any signs of tampering or suspicious activity at an ATM."

 

The paper published this week by ENISA recommends that further information and advice is provided nationally in EU Member States by banks, financial institutions, payment schemes and law enforcement agencies.

 

www.enisa.europa.eu