Media Release: Skimming attacks at European ATMs rise 24 per cent, says latest report

THE latest European ATM Crime Report published by EAST (the European ATM Security Team), shows a 24 per cent increase in card skimming attacks at European ATMs.

Some 5,743 attacks were reported for the period January to June 2010, compared with 4,629 for the same period in 2009.

But, syas the report: for the same periods, skimming related losses fell from €156 million to €144 million.

Says a spokesperson: “This is the largest number of such attacks reported in a six month period since EAST first began recording these statistics in 2004, although not all countries are reporting increases.  In several cases, there have been significant falls in skimming attacks. Anti-skimming measures are now in place at many European ATMs and throughout Europe initiatives are in place to encourage cardholders to shield their PIN at ATMs and payment terminals.”

EAST director and co-ordinator, Lachlan Gunn, said: “The industry is concerned to see the number of attacks rising after the substantial investment that has been put into EMV (chip and PIN) technology, a field where Europe is leading the rest of the world.

“Unfortunately, as long as European EMV cards have a magnetic stripe on them, that stripe is vulnerable to skimming. Chip-only debit cards are now starting to appear, which will hopefully help to address this issue.   Cardholders should feel reassured that, even if their card details are skimmed, they are not held liable should there be subsequent losses. The really good news, from our perspective, is the continuing fall in skimming related losses.”

The spokesperson said: The EAST report shows that ATM related card skimming losses have now fallen consecutively for the last five reporting periods, from a high of €315 million in the second half of 2007, to the €144 million just reported. The continuing fall is believed to be as a direct result of the effectiveness of the EMV rollout, as compromised European cards are increasingly being used outside of the 31 countries of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA).

“Domestic losses (losses from national cards within national borders) have fallen 41 per cent, from €41 million in the first half of 2009, to €24 million. International losses (losses from national cards outside national borders) have risen four per cent from €114 million to €119 million. A significant part of these international losses are now occurring outside Europe in areas where EMV has not yet been implemented.

“The EAST report also provides statistics relating to other types of ATM fraud, as well as to physical attacks at ATMs, and robberies, and EAST has recently placed seized criminal video footage onto its website, showing how criminals can capture PINs, and how cardholders can protect them.”


For further information and a PDF copy of the report (Media only) please contact the EAST Coordinator, Lachlan Gunn: Email coordinator@eas-team.eu    Tel: + 44 131 5100268

EUROPEAN ATM CRIME REPORT 2010: Period: January to June 2010The above release is based on a report prepared twice-yearly by EAST to provide an overview of the European ATM crime situation for law enforcement officers and EAST members, using statistics provided from 22 European states.

The following countries, with an estimated total installed base of 360,721 ATMs, supplied full or partial information for this report: Austria Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal,  Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom.

EAST intends to obtain such information from all 27 European Union states as well as from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

EAST has taken reasonable measures to develop the report this press release is based on and to report in a fair, reasonable, open, and objective manner.

However, EAST makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the completeness of the underlying data.

In addition, as the information in the report has been passed to EAST by other parties, errors or mistakes may exist or be discovered.

Neither EAST nor its members, authors, or agents shall be liable for any loss, damage, or claim with respect to any such information being provided.

All such liabilities, including direct, special, indirect, or consequential damages, are expressly disclaimed and excluded.


Founded in 2004, EAST is a ‘non-profit’ organisation whose members are committed to gathering information from, and disseminating EAST reports to ATM deployers and networks within their countries/regions. While the main focus of EAST is on ATMs, the group also focuses on all payment terminals that have a direct impact on crime perpetrated at ATM locations.

Our mission is to gather and provide information to the European ATM industry and to facilitate effective representation of ATM-related security issues at relevant European central institutions, through a pan-European co-ordination of ATM security resources.

EAST has set up an international network in order to help improve public/private sector cross-border cooperation in the fight against organized cross-border crime.

EAST members represent countries within the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), as well as others by special arrangement, and active links are maintained with both Europol and Eurojust.

EAST produces:

 Half-year and full-year European ATM Crime Reports to provide interested parties with an overview of the European ATM crime situation. (These are compiled from statistics provided by the EAST membership, as well as from other industry sources.)

 Three Fraud Updates each year, based on reports provided by members at each of the three EAST meetings.

 Lists of devices and systems for the benefit of ATM networks and deployers. These lists are periodically updated.

More information can be found at http://www.european-atm-security.eu

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Contact: EAST Coordinator, Lachlan Gunn
Phone: + 44 131 5100268
Email: coordinator@eas-team.eu
Website: http://www.european-atm-security.eu