Australian ATM card skimming and PIN capture results in $623,000 theft

Incident Date: 2003
Incident Location: Sydney Australia

A Malaysian named Kok Meng Ng pled guilty to defrauding more than $623,000 from bank customers in Australia. He was part of a gang that placed electronic card information skimming devices and miniature cameras on 36 ATMs in Sydney. These devices and cameras allowed the gang to capture the account number and PIN of ATM users. The criminals could then make transactions using the stolen account information. On 65 occasions between May 2001 and November 2002, Ng transferred amounts of less than $10,000 to overseas accounts. He kept the amounts under $10,000 to avoid having the financial institutions report the transactions to the government.

The gang stole money from 315 bank accounts, generally withdrawing less than $1,000 per account. A detective in the fraud squad believes that other gang members fled Australia in the days before Ngs arrest. A risk manager with Visa International reported that half of credit card fraud in Australia, worth $50 million, resulted from credit card skimming. This total is up five percent from two years ago.

The man admitted to his part in the crime in the District Court on August 11, 2003


Story Sources

Title: ATM swipe-and-snap scam netted $620,000, court told
Author: Leonie Lamont
Date: 8/12/2003
Publication: The Sydney Morning Herald
Publication Location: Sydney Australia
Publication URL: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/08/11/1060588322961.html


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