Recent data released by Financial Fraud Action U.K., the organizational body tasked with preventing card and payments fraud, showed ATM crimes tripled in the first four months of the year, compared to the same period last year.
Criminal incidents at ATMs rose from 2,553 in the first fourth months of last year to reach 7,525 in the beginning of the year. Action Fraud said criminals have returned to using “distraction techniques” due to the difficulty associated with hi-tech crime as a result of technological advancements.
A popular method of obtaining bank cards and PIN numbers involves “shoulder surfing,” in which a thief watches over an ATM customer’s shoulder as they enter their PIN and then distracts them to steal their card.
“We have seen massive developments in the card security arena over the past few years—chip and PIN being the most obvious to the consumer,” a spokesman for uk.creditcards.com, a U.K.-based credit card comparison site, said. “The fact that criminals are resorting to Oliver Twist style tactics to steal bank cards and details is testament to the fact that credit, bank debit and prepaid credit cards have never been more secure.”