Security & Fraud

Anti-Fraud ATM Blocks Mobile Phone Scams

ATM fraud

Hitachi is teaming up with a regional bank in Japan to introduce anti-fraud ATMs.

The machines are designed to stop users from being conned into transferring money from their bank accounts at an ATM by preventing transactions from completing if it detects the person is using a mobile phone, Bloomberg reported.

Joyo Bank, a regional lender located north of Tokyo, will begin operating the new anti-fraud ATMs early next year.

According to Bloomberg, elderly Japanese bank customers are often targeted by “it’s me” scams, when criminal groups place phone calls and pretend to be a relative that needs money or a professional demanding payment. Oftentimes, the victims are unsure of how to use the ATM to transfer funds, so the criminals will talk them through it on the phone.

“We have experienced cases of elderly customers falling victim to this kind of fraud,” Satoshi Sasaki, a spokesman for Joyo Bank, told Bloomberg. “We discussed the issue with Hitachi and decided to implement this solution.”

Data from the National Policy Agency revealed that the instances of this particular type of fraud have increased over the past six years. In the first eight months of 2016, there were 8,802 cases involving 26.4 billion yen ($252 million).

Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal reported that, since the introduction of EMV in the U.S., the ATM has been under siege, as cyberthieves have targeted the machines, up threefold since 2014.

Credit score firm FICO said that 2015 went down as the highest-ever tally of compromised machines, although it should be noted that FICO did not disclose actual numbers. Nonbank ATMs account for as much as 60 percent of fraud attempts in 2015, up from 39 percent in 2014.

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