PNP strengthens fight vs ATM fraud

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Thursday, August 14, 2014


THE Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Joint Anti-Bank Robbery Action Committee (Jabrac) strengthened its drive against Automated Teller Machine (ATM) fraud syndicates responsible for stealing money from ATM users, an official said Thursday.

PNP Public Information chief Reuben Theodore Sindac said the PNP Anti-Cyber Crime Group (ACG) continue to trace and conduct operations against groups installing skimming devices in ATM machines.

Reports said skimming devices are placed secretly in ATMs pin pads to copy the bank account data of the inserted ATM cards and loot the owner's bank account.

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"While the PNP and Jabrac continue to search for other related syndicates, bank owners are also advised to implement maximum installation of CCTV cameras near their ATM booths. Also, the designation of civilian guard will be a great help to watch and secure their respective ATMs," Sindac said.

Last May, two Bulgarian nationals identified as Mladenov Emil Stoyanov and Kanev Lyuben Georgiev were arrested by the PNP after they were caught in the act installing an ATM skimming device at the Bangko De Oro (BDO) ATM booth in SM City Pampanga.

Confiscated from the two suspects were one small flat screw driver believed to be used in picking ATM cards and one laptop allegedly with software that decodes the ATM accounts.

Sindac said during investigation, the PNP-ACG found out that a software used for decoding the ATM cards was installed in the suspects' laptop.

Stoyanov and Georgiev are now detained at Pampanga Provincial Jail.

Sindac said a similar incident, which resulted in the arrest of a Romanian National happened in Angeles City, Pampanga on February 7.

"Suspects are possible members of an international ATM skimming ring," he said.

In 2013, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas recorded 1,272 ATM fraud-related incidents, which involves an estimated P220 million while P175 million was the estimated lost due to the said illegal activity in 2012. (Sunnex)

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