Aug.17, 2013

Sydney police have recently reported a gang of suspected Romanian criminals is using 3D printers and computer-aided design (CAD) to manufacture ATM skimming devices to steal Sydney residents' funds.

New South Wales Police in Sydney has arrested and charged a Romanian national with fraud after a money transfer officer contacted police over a suspicious transaction, according to Australia-based iTnews.

Police said they set up a dedicated taskforce in June after seeing an increase in cash machine theft offences.

The taskforce found one gang that targeted 15 ATMs across Sydney, affecting tens of thousands of people and stealing around $100,000 (US$91,800).

Commander of the NSW Fraud and Cybercrime Squad, Detective Superintendent Col Dyson, told iTnews the gang was using 3D printers and CAD technology. But he declined to provide detail on how the devices were being manufactured.

The gang focused on two types of ATM design. "These devices are actually manufactured for specific models of ATMs so they fit better and can't be detected as easily," he said.

"Parts of the devices are internally fitted, either by the offenders moving part of the slot and replacing it with their own, and pushing circuitry into the machines. [Another model] is so small it's entirely self-contained and entirely pushed in, with some force, into the card slot."

Two banks have been affected. But Dyson declined to provide names.

A skimmer is a device that fits onto, around or into an ATM's card slot. It reads your card on its way into the real slot and extract data. The fraudsters can later use these information to clone a magnetic-stripe-only credit card. The devices are often used in conjunction with a hidden video camera, or an unobtrusive keypad overlay, to record PIN data at the same time. Fake cards are then used in combination with stolen PIN information to raid your account for hard cash.

Skimmers have been used by fraudsters for years but one "advantage" of 3D printed skimmers is that the crooks can quickly try a new design (or tweak an old one) in order to make their devices as surreptitious as possible, Ducklin explained.

"The better a skimmer fits, the more smoothly it blends with the ATM's shape, and the closer the colour, the more likely it is go unnoticed."

"Also, 3D printouts can be made on demand, so that the crooks can quickly replace skimmers that have been detected, removed and destroyed," he adds.

NSW Police said they had traced some of the stolen funds to Romania.

So be caution when you draw cash from machines, check if there is any small unusual device attached, or simply just cover the keypad as you enter your pin.

Watch below a video from the Queensland Police Service telling people how to spot ATM skimmers when using cash machines:

Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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