Criminals now turn their attention to Luas and DART ticket machines

26 Nov 2012

Criminals who use skimming devices to fraud the unsuspecting public via ATMs are now using Luas and DART ticketing machines in Dublin to clone bank cards.

While the banks have secured many ATMs from skimming attacks, it is understood the criminals are now using a new kind of skimming device at unattended payment machines to capture debit and credit card details and PINs when cardholders are using the machines.

According to the Irish Payment Services Organisation (IPSO), there have been at least three known cases in the last week, including an incident at Booterstown DART station and one at Dun Laoghaire train station.

The Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigations (GBFI) is investigating the matter. Excellent CCTV footage recovered by the GBFI would suggest that a single gang is operating the scam.

IPSO has been working with the machine operators and the card issuers, to ensure any accounts attached to payment cards that may have been compromised in this way are monitored for potential fraud spend.

Be vigilant – cover PIN pads, check accounts and statements

“While this kind of activity will most likely escalate in the run-up to Christmas, where a larger number of people than usual are travelling to towns and cities, IPSO warns cardholders using these machines to simply cover the PIN pad when keying in their PIN so that the criminals cannot see the PIN being entered, either through shoulder surfing or when micro-cameras are used.

“Cardholders who believe they may have been compromised should check their accounts on a regular basis. Bank statements are available 24 hours a day on the internet or over the phone and any unauthorised cash withdrawals or sales should be reported immediately to the card issuing bank and gardaí,” IPSO said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years