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Digital Identity, Security & Online Fraud

New report calls for renewed attention to ATM physical security

Tuesday 18 June 2019 | 10:52 AM CET

Europol and the European Crime Prevention Network (EUCPN) have launched a call for a strategy to combat and prevent ATM physical attacks.

According to the latest figures from the European Association for Secure Transactions, reporting countries saw a 27% increase in ATM physical attacks in 2018, costing the economy over EUR 36 million in Europe in 2018 alone.

While one approach to the problem of physical attacks is to harden the security of ATMs, making it more demanding for offenders to attack such machines, another way to prevent this crime is to spoil the criminals’ loot, reducing their desire to engage in this type of crime.

Such measures include lowering the amount of cash in ATMs by limiting the replenished cash to that sufficient for one day, or making the money traceable by staining the stolen notes, making it impossible for criminals to spend this money. Parallel measures aimed at increasing the detection and punishment should complete the preventive strategy. The information gathering and sharing between all relevant stakeholders is key, as is the exchange of high-quality CCTV images and sound data to increase the chances of early detection and successful investigations.

These measures should be adopted at the European level in order to avoid that strong measures in one country drive organised crime groups towards more vulnerable countries.

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