The cloning of credit cards: a scam that we have known for some time but that in recent years has seen the beautiful country increasingly as the nerve center of operations.
Italy is chosen as a database, in particular the Italian cities of art are the places where the scammers implement their own stratagem to collect the data useful for triggering the scam .
Doors fake ATM skimmer with miniature cameras and the size of a fingernail is used to steal unsuspecting patrons codes of credit cards and debit cards.
They targets foreign tourists who visit our country
targets foreign tourists who visit our country” />
The scammers , through complex instruments that clone the magnetic strips of credit cards , manage to empty entire current accounts with simple operations carried out in different countries of the world such as Belize, Jamaica or Indonesia, where ATMs still use as a reading tool and recognition magnetic stripes. From a very rough estimate, given that it is impossible to quantify how much money goes around this business, we can say that the savings that are taken away from tourists by criminal associations mainly from Eastern Europe are not less than 150 thousand euros per week .
Of course, summer is the most “dangerous” period for this type of fraud, given also the increase in the flow of tourists to our country.
As mentioned, the tourist and art cities are the favorite destinations for scammers for this raid that is reaching figures never seen before; from Venice to Milan, from Naples to Rome passing through Florence, the great areas of historical interest, the museums and all the symbolic places of our country, become places for the organizations of the East that go to make up all the ATMs closest to they.
The collection sometimes allows him to withdraw
after the cloning, thousands of euros in a few minutes. The choice to focus on tourists is not at all random. In fact, the amounts relating to withdrawal or payment transactions on current cards abroad are not communicated to the interested party in real time but after a few days, thus allowing the groups to be able to move the illicitly stolen amounts rapidly.
A turnover that over the course of the year reaches almost 10 million euros but as mentioned the figure is purely approximate, given that for the authorities it becomes practically impossible to ascertain all the frauds as precision.
Obviously, this business is carefully monitored by the Carabinieri of the Monetary Refusal, a specially dedicated and specialized team of fraud, led by Colonel Francisico Firrase.
How fraudsters steal your data
In this complex mechanism also formed by specialists such as engineers, computer scientists and simple workers, Italy represents the fundamental junction, the database from which to draw information. Investigators dell ‘forgery have discovered an even more effective system that fraudsters use to steal data: in practice the Atm doors are infected with malware which, while not altering in any way the operation of the machine that continues quietly to dispense money, they manage to clone all the credit card data present in the counter. They are then sent by e-mail abroad where credit cards are physically cloned and withdrawals start, all obviously unaware of the credit card holder.
However, tampering with an ATM door is not as simple as it may seem, and to succeed, scammers can find increasingly sophisticated technological solutions.
Let’s try making the example of the skimmer which is a device that manages to capture the magnetic stripe of the credit card . It is mounted in the slot where the paper is inserted or installed externally and camouflaged with plastic parts identical to those already present in the ATMs . The skimmer, which is simply powered by batteries, can save hundreds of magnetic strips on a memory. However, it is not enough to know the magnetic strip to take away the money but you need to know the PIN. To solve the problem, scammers either install micro-cameras to film the code entry by card holders, or overlay fake keypads that store the codes on storage media.
How can we defend ourselves?
The Anti-Banification has devised a sort of vademecum to follow to the letter to avoid risks.
- Check that there are no silicone residues in the slot where the credit card is inserted or that there are no added posts that do not adhere perfectly to the rest of the door;
- Presence of unusual sheets of paper, glue or mastic residue, as well as any scratches or bruises on the keyboard that could have occurred due to the overlapping of a keypad to steal the codes;
- Check that there are no abnormal holes that could suspect the installation of micro-cameras;
- Hide the view while typing the Pin code with the other hand or with the same wallet to make life more difficult for any scammers ;
- Call the toll-free number to block the card if it is not returned by the ATM;
So few little hints about not having to live with the worry of mind a simple ATM withdrawal. Also, do not forget to enable sending SMS whenever you make a withdrawal. The SMS is configured directly within the website of the bank or the credit card manager, our advice is to set a threshold that is not too high to allow you to receive a notification in real time so that you can intervene promptly.