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ATM fraud losses down 55% in Europe due to EMV adoption

According to the ATM Crime Statistics report of European ATM Security Team (EAST), across Europe as a whole, ATM fraud has dipped by 55% thanks to ‘chip n pin’/EMV technology. However, incidents continue to be reported where skimmed data is used by criminals in countries where all ATMs are not yet EMV compliant. Out of an estimated European total of nearly 359,000 ATMs, 68 percent use EMV, up from 63 percent from 2006.

ATM fraud is dominated by card skimming, with 2,317 cases reported — 167 incidents of card trapping and 53 other attacks, such as transaction reversal fraud. Losses related to card skimming decreased by 25 percent in value when compared with the equivalent period last year. That drop relates to the installation of anti-skimming devices on ATMs, EAST says. Because all EMV cards used in Europe still have a magnetic stripe, ATMs must still be equipped with anti-skimming devices.

Where anti-skimming devices have been deployed, EAST members report both a displacement of fraud activity to unprotected machines and an increase in attempts to overcome them. Cases of card trapping have stabilized, while other types of fraud, primarily cash trapping, have decreased. But direct physical attacks against ATMs have increased by 60 percent, 1,810 such attacks reported during the first six months 2007. Attacks range from ram raids to vandalism, with robberies during cash replenishment showing the largest increase. There’s also been an increase in the use of explosives and gas.

In total, €15 million were lost through attacks on ATMs. The estimated average cash loss through robbery is €8,000 Euros per attack and €12,000 per ram raid/ATM burglary.More than 40 percent of direct attacks fail to gain cash, but significant damage to property and/or the ATM can exceed €100,000 per attack.

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