New South Wales Police are warning Sydney residents and visitors that ATM skimmers have targeted more than 40 ATMs around the city since January 2014.
The suburbs targeted include: Artarmon, Avalon, Balmain, Bexley, Bondi Junction, Burwood, Campsie, Caringbah, Chatswood, Clovelly, Dee Why, Double Bay, Dural, Gordon, Hurstville, Haymarket, Kingsford, Mona Vale, Mosman, Neutral Bay, Parramatta, Ramsgate, Rockdale, Seven Hills, Strathfield, St Ives and the Sydney CBD.
In August 2013, the police reported that skimmers had targeted at least 15 ATMs.
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According to NSW fraud and cybercrime squad Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis, the skimmers have links to an organised crime group in Eastern Europe.
“Our investigation, which has been strongly supported by a number of banks, suggests that the spike in ATM skimming incidents can be attributed to an organised syndicate targeting ATMs in suburbs right across Sydney,” he said in a statement.
Compromised card details are copied on to blank cards and the stolen PINs are used to make purchases from people’s accounts.
On 13 March, one Hungarian and one Romanian were arrested after allegedly tampering with an ATM in Market Street, Sydney. Both men are before the courts.
“While we have arrested some members of the group, we know there are still a number out there, so cardholders need to exercise caution when using ATMs,” said Katsogiannis.
“Make sure you carefully cover the hand entering the PIN with your other hand, a newspaper or a magazine. It’s also important to regularly check your bank account transactions so that if you spot any suspicious withdrawals you can contact your financial institution before more money goes missing.”
CCTV footage from an ATM on Market Street in Sydney during 28 March shows two men who the police would like to talk to.
The first man is described as being of Eastern European appearance, aged in his 20s or early 30s and was wearing a navy blue, long-sleeved shirt.
The second man is described as being of Eastern European appearance, aged in his 20s or early 30s and was wearing a navy blue polo shirt and black baseball cap.
Katsogiannis said that if anyone recognises the men, they should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the online reporting page. “You can provide information anonymously. We don’t need to know who you are, all we need is the information you have to hand so that we can catch the people responsible for these crimes and put them before the court,” he said.
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