Sunday, July 26, 2015

How ATM Skimmers stole SR 220,000 from 62 people?

Automated Teller Machines or more commonly known as ATMs have become an integral part of the lives of everyone who has a bank account. These machines provide us with instant access to cash from our accounts any time of the day and any day of the week. Since these machines are loaded with a lot of cash, these machines have been the victim of theft and robbery since they were introduced.  Although the crime against these machines continues to this day, the methods have changed drastically. Previously the entire ATMs used to be towed away be trucks and later broken into by criminals looking for an easy supposedly victimless and non violent crime. Later the users of the machines became the target since it was easier getting the money once it had been taken out of the machine.

Today with science moving ahead at a greater rate than time itself, the methods have become somewhat discreet and sophisticated. Such intelligent and tech savvy criminals can be found all around the world and their method of stealing from the ATMs is a truly amazing. Recently it was reported that two people had been arrested in the Kingdom linked to fraudulent activities and theft involving ATMs. Reports say that the two men who were arrested are Chinese nationals and have been placed under arrest for stealing a total of SAR 220,000 from 62 different people or accounts by using a highly sophisticated card reader and hidden cameras installed inside the ATM machines in Riyadh.

The two Chinese men had entered the Kingdom on business visas and had installed these card reading devices in the ATMs located in shopping malls, mostly in the northern region of Riyadh. A reporter from a local publication reported that these men are part of a much larger gang which operates overseas. The local police have launched an official investigation into the activities of this gang after many people had lodged a complaint that their money had been withdrawn or rather stolen from their accounts from outside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, mainly from China and other Asian countries

During the investigation which was conducted by the police, police officers spotted two people who were repeatedly using the same ATM machine located in the city. The two men were arrested just as they tried to withdraw money. Amongst other things a card reader and several cameras were found to be in their possession, which was a clear giveaway of their activities.

The two men who had been caught red handed, confessed that they had been withdrawing money from overseas. The duo had used a magnetic card reader which attaches itself perfectly onto the ATM card insert slot. The relevant information was then sent over to their accomplices who were located overseas in foreign territory, who would then transfer the information on to new cards and use the card to withdraw money from it. The criminal Chinese duo had a grand total of 191 transactions on their track record.
Source: Arab News

  1. ATM Fraud worth SR 290,000 in Jeddah
  2. Points to Take Care in Internet Banking in Saudi Arabia
  3. ATM Scam: Card Skimming Device at Cash Withdrawal Machines


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