Tuesday, 1 September 2020

SKIMMERS skive-off

IT appears that the professional gangsters who made millions from skimming bank cards at ATM's have finally given up on Ireland. This year there have been just three reported attacks in Ireland where better security and wary card-holders have made it too hard for the fraudsters to make a decent living. Organised gangs of foreign card-skimmers, who stole a staggering €4 million at the peak of the scam in 2005, made off with a mere €1.1 million in 2008. But now the professional skimmers seem to have packed up their mini-cameras, fake key-pads, card readers and their tubes of super glue and gone elsewhere looking for new victims.
Instead the fraudsters' focus has switched back to credit cards and using them to make fraudulent deals on internet retail websites. Total card-fraud, which includes both bank debit cards and credit cards, still cost Irish banks a total of €16.5 million in 2008. At 0.06 per cent of the €22.6 billion spent by Irish card-holders in 2007, the level of card fraud in Ireland is less that half the average rate across the European Union, according to newly released figures from the Irish Payment Services Organisation. In contrast to Ireland there has been an increase in ATM fraud last years across the EU with attacks up 149 per cent, in which an estimated €485 million was stolen, according to EAST. Last month European arrest warrants were issued for two people in Ireland as part of an investigation into skimming frauds worth €6.5 million. They were part of a group blamed for 35,000 fraudulent transactions using over 15,000 bank cards.
There were 24 arrests made in the other countries involved, with eight arrests in Italy, two in the Netherlands, two in Belgium and 12 in Romania. Recently Romanian skimmer Adrian Pleseru was jailed for his role in a card-cloning operation based in Dublin.

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posted by Eamon Dillon at


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