Card Issuers Alerted to Organized Global Fraud Schemes
Visa has issued an advisory to U.S. payment card issuers, advising them to be on alert for suspected ATM cash-out fraud schemes. Visa could not be reached for comment about the Jan. 10 advisory. But a copy of the advisory was obtained from an executive at a top-tier issuing institution who asked not to be named. The advisory states international law enforcement agencies have determined global ATM cash-out schemes could be on an upswing, based on a recent case involving a limited number of stolen payment cards used to conduct thousands of withdrawals at ATMs in numerous countries over the course of a single weekend.
Card issuers have been asked to increase their monitoring of ATM traffic and report any suspicious activity, especially ATM withdrawals involving prepaid cards.
Meanwhile, FICO Card Alert Service, which analyzes card transactions across a network of 11,000 institutions to detect counterfeit card use, issued an alert to its member banks and credit unions the week of Jan. 14 about ATM cash-outs. In the alert, FICO notes that fraudulent ATM withdrawals in certain northeastern U.S. cities had been identified by law enforcement, and a global connection was suspected.
ATM cash-out schemes involve a coordinated effort to make withdrawals at multiple ATMs over a short period of time, typically within hours of each other. Fraudsters collect card numbers and PINs over time – either through skimming attacks, network hacks or purchases in underground carding forums – and hold the information until they reach a relatively massive number.
Fraudsters create fake cards with the stolen details and then use the cards at multiple ATMs simultaneously or within a short period of time in an effort to make numerous withdrawals before fraud-detection systems pick up on suspicious activity.