As we enter the final run-up to Xmas and the New Year, the shopping bonanza is well under way. This of course presents great opportunities for criminals. Yesterday I noted that the Turkish authorities have just arrested 10 Bulgarian nationals for ATM skimming offences....these guys had skimming devices placed on 4 ATMs in Istanbul for over a week. According to Bulgarian national radio the fraudsters managed to steal data from 300 cards and obtain 50,000 Turkish Lira. The arrests were made in Istanbul, as well as in a hotel on the Turkish-Greek border. A large amount of skimming equipment was also seized. It is good that these guys are safely out of the way for the time being, but there are of course thousands more out there.
What can you do to reduce the risk of your card being skimmed at an ATM?
Always be vigilant when using an ATM (or any payment terminal) and always shield your PIN when entering it. Does this make any difference? Watch seized criminal video footage to see that it does.
Visit the website of the European ATM Security Team (EAST) for other cardholder security tips.