ATM Frauds and card thefts

This is more of an international post but I think the UK has to be one of he main targets for ATM crimes and its getting more and more.. Welcome to the EU the UK welcomes all races and all criminals without screening.. A lot of the people entering the UK are on the run from they’re home countries its about time the EU caught up with cross border policing so we can get rid of them.


The first one is the Lebanese Loop the reason for its name is that it was Lebanese criminals that were first caught with it in the UK. Now I can see this being used in the Philippines as its cheap to produce and there are a lot of ATMs without cameras watching over them. this slips into the slot where the card goes. You stick your card in and funny enough its stuck. Someone who just happens to be queuing behind you will approach and ask if you need help explaining that it happened to them the other day (could be male or female). They will then ask for your pin and input it knowing it wont work then telling you that the bank will need contacting. You then walk off annoyed at the bank while the thieves slip the loop back out of the machine and use your bank card to withdraw money now that they have your pin number.

White plastic

White plastic is a term given to any piece of plastic used as a credit card. Normally, a blank piece of plastic embossed and encoded with a stolen account number is used for fraudulent cash withdrawals at ATM machines or with cooperation by merchants.
White plastic is also being used in a scheme called "shoulder surfing" which either involves setting up a video camera or person to record individuals using an ATM.

The camera is focused on the PIN pad to capture a customer’s PIN or is accomplished by merely standing in a position to see what you type.

At the end of the day or periodically, suspects retrieve discarded receipts from around the ATM which contain the account number and time of transaction. Once the criminal has both the PIN and the account number, they can produce a duplicate card.

Fake Plate

This fraud involves a fake plate fitting over the front of the ATM machine you insert your card and everything goes fine until you try to get your money. Nothing comes out. What has really happened is the money is behind the fake plate and has been dispensed. You wander off thinking the machine is empty and the thieves remove the plate and pick up your cash.

Card Skimming

This one is probably the most skilled and electronically advanced. Basically they have a reader that is electronically reading the information from your card while you are using the ATM (it fits inside the slot) It takes your information and later collected. Often there will be someone standing in line taking Pin numbers to match to cards. But the electronics are getting to the point they are hard to notice.

I also have seen card skimming done in Worcester in a different way which is a double swipe. This seems to happen a lot at garages and infact led to the BP garages in Worcester (3 of them) having a franchise revoked from the owner due to all 3 garages double swiping. When you pay for fuel they swipe your card right? Well what this does is a battery operated reader stores your information then they swipe the machine your supposed to be using they now have your details for later use stored on the reader. In Worcester the scam took around £120,000 before being discovered.

Now although all these scams exist I haven’t heard of them in the Philippines but it doesn’t mean they don’t exist and if they don’t now they will at some point.  The UK seems to be getting hit hard by credit card fraud and its mainly down to poor border controls. But it also gives a good insight into what these criminals are upto and a warning for other locations. Personally I don’t use my credit card unless I really do need it for something. I have also heard of horror stories with people having money stolen within the banking system in the Philippines so does make me wonder where is best to keep my cash. Aswell as the fact a lot of the rural banks collapsed. There is no easy solution but if I come across one I will add it here. Maybe a bank will come up with a system that works offshore and does great rates or stores Pesos for use in the Philippines which can limit the withdrawals per day unless phone verification is made or a new state of the art top up card that doesn’t cost too much. Time will tell but im hoping it wont be too long.