Retailers Beware Of Recent EFTPOS Terminal Skimming Operations

Information verified correct on September 29th, 2016
Credit card placed on EFTPOS machine

Retailers in Australia are warned to be on alert after recent credit card fraud activities targeting EFTPOS machines throughout NSW and Australian capital cities. The $50 million scam is orchestrated by overseas Asian gangs, people who work to a common cause with the sole purpose of robbing EFTPOS owners of their money.

The credit card fraud is possible as gangs use tampered machines to steal sensitive data while buyers pay for their purchases. Details are skimmed with the help of these fake machines making it very hard to see whether you are actually dealing with a real machine or a clone.

Spokesman for Electronic Frontiers Australia, Geordie Guy says retailers are not paying attention to the simple methods used to protect themselves from skimming operations.

People aren’t doing them, and it’s really that simple. It’s one of those problems where the simplest way is quite often the best* way. I think to an extent retailers are treating EFTPOS machines differently from the till. It’s often been said to keep an eye on the till, but no one looks at the EFTPOS machine.”

EFTPOS machines are tampered with in order to install the hardware necessary to run the skimming operation. It is also thought quite possible that many of these tampered machines could even be rigged before the terminal reaches a retail outlet.

Mr Guy said: “You have to pay attention to a lot of things, and it’s difficult. But it has to be done. I think the only way this is going to go away is when somebody comes up with an inherently secure EFTPOS machine.”

The NSW Fraud Squad recommends that customers should check terminals for any signs of irregularities. The hardest hit at present are McDonald’s, clothing stores and convenience stores.

Detectives are working closely with interstate and international counterparts as part of the ongoing investigations. Police wish to remind consumers to take precautionary steps when using EFTPOS terminals,” the force said in a statement.

Detectives warn that offenders can covertly capture card data which is then used to fraudulently withdraw funds from victim’s bank accounts.”

Credit card fraud protection tips for retailers:

  • Be aware of security around the EFTPOS terminal.
  • Make sure the terminals are left in a secure location and are not removed.
  • Checking all EFTPOS terminals frequently to ensure serial numbers are correct.

Credit card fraud protection tips for consumers:

  • Always check receipts and EFTPOS transaction records.
  • Checking your bank statements the day you receive them in the mail or online.
  • Be aware of how many funds are in an account.
  • Refuse to release your PIN.
  • Cover your PIN when using a terminal.
  • Use chip-enabled cards if you can.

Source: Smart Company

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