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06 February 2009, 11:49

$9 Million stolen in ATM Scam

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Using cloned U.S. debit cards, over the course of a few hours, criminals were able to steal $9 million from ATM's and accounts. The cards used in the scam apparently came from a late 2008 known attack on the financial service provider RBS World Pay. RBS World Pay provides a service that allows employers to pay employees by depositing money directly onto RBS payroll debit cards.

According to the FBI, it was a coordinated attack, in which 130 ATM machines in 49 cities world wide, including Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Montreal, Moscow and Hong Kong were all accessed within a 30 minute period, on November 8th, 2008, using cloned ATM cards. Somehow the group managed to remove the daily withdrawal limits usually imposed on the cards and accounts, allowing for multiple large withdrawals to be made.

Individuals who took part in the scam and withdrew the amounts, are being refereed to as "cashers" by the FBI. The FBI is hoping to catch one of the "cashers" in hopes that they will provide some details about how and who, set up the scam.

Recently payment service provider Heartland Payment systems admitted that over 100 million credit and debit cards may have been compromised when it was attacked by malicious software. The two incidents have not been linked, however the Heartland breach could result in a similar scam using the stolen card information.

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