Friday, 27 May 2011

Eastern European fraudsters target US......despite penalties

Have just seen two US press articles put out on the same day (26th May 2011) about Bulgarian fraudsters.  As the United States is not moving to EMV (Chip and PIN) it will increasingly be seen as an attractive market for experienced card fraudsters, although I have not yet seen any incident and loss statistics to support this.  The European ATM Security Team (EAST) recently reported that skimming losses due to ATM related fraud attacks fell nearly 50% from 2008 to 2010, down from €485 million to €268 million.  This must mean that the bad guys are experiencing a big drop in their illicit takings in Europe - hence the attractiveness of the US and other markets where EMV is not being adopted.

It is interesting to note that penalties for such crimes in the US seem to be significantly higher than in Europe - in the US the bank fraud conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and $1 million fine.  In Europe equivalent sentences can range from as little as a few months to just a few years.  I talked about the penalties in China at the beginning of the year when a convicted fraudster got 10.5 years and a fine of 50,0000 Yuan ($71,429 approx).  Despite the relative severity of penalties, the US market seems to be an increasingly powerful magnet for financial fraudsters...............time to introduce EMV?

You can find links to the two press articles below:
Hoover police arrest two Bulgarian natives linked to electronic skimming operation
Bulgarian pleads guilty to Nutley, Belleville bank fraud

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