EAST Publishes European Fraud Update 1-2020

EAST has just published its first European Fraud Update for 2020. This is based on country crime updates given by representatives of 18 countries in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), and 2 non-SEPA countries, at the 50th EAST meeting held in Vienna on 12th February 2020.

Payment fraud issues were reported by eighteen countries. Seven countries reported CNP fraud occurring worldwide. One reported that the card data is either bought in bulk or obtained via card testing/BIN attacks. The attackers use scripts/bots (not real people) to conduct the fraud. Four countries reported BIN attacks. One reported that they are originating from the Middle East for the first time and another reported them in relation to both CP and CNP fraud, with losses reported in the USA, the UK and Brazil. Two countries reported Account Takeover Fraud, one of them in connection with SIM swapping.

Six countries reported phishing. One reported the use of fake emails by criminals to impersonate bank customers, claiming that their bank account details have changed. Another reported that online banking was targeted, and a third country reported phishing using social networks, with related fraud occurring in China. Three countries reported SMS phishing (Smishing). One of them reported this related to token validation transactions – the IP addresses are in Morocco and the fraud occurs in an EU country with losses via Western Union.

To date in 2020 the EAST Payments Task Force (EPTF) has published one related Payment Alert.

ATM malware and logical attacks were reported by twelve countries – one reported successful ATM malware attacks where ‘Cutlet Maker’ was used, and ten reported the usage (or attempted usage) of ‘black-box’ devices to allow the unauthorised dispensing of cash. To date in 2020 the EAST Expert Group on All Terminal Fraud (EGAF) has published one related Fraud Alert.

Card skimming at ATMs was reported by ten countries, and the downward trend continues. Six countries reported the usage of ‘M3 – Card Reader Internal Skimming devices’, and the usage of ‘M1 – Overlay Skimming Devices’ and ‘M2 – Throat Inlay Skimming Devices’ was also reported. Skimming attacks on other terminal types were reported by eight countries. Four reported attacks on unattended payment terminals (UPTs) at petrol stations, and three reported attacks at railway ticket machines. To date in 2020 EAST EGAF has published four related Fraud Alerts.

Year to date International skimming related losses were reported in 14 countries and territories outside SEPA and in 4 within SEPA. The top three locations where such losses were reported remain Indonesia, India and the USA.

Five countries reported card trapping attacks, one of them reporting a new method that allows several cards to be captured in one attack. Three countries reported transaction reversal fraud (TRF) incidents. To date in 2020 EAST EGAF has published two related Fraud Alerts.

Ram raids and ATM burglary were reported by eleven countries and eleven countries reported explosive gas attacks, one of which resulted in a fatality. Eight countries reported solid explosive attacks. The usage of Triacetone Triperoxide (TATP) for solid explosive attacks continues to increase across Europe. Mixing TAPT is a complicated procedure that requires good knowledge of the chemicals, as there is a danger of setting off an unexpected explosion. The spread of such attacks is of great concern to the industry due to the risk to life and to the significant amount of collateral damage to equipment and buildings.
To date in 2020 the EAST Expert Group on ATM & ATS Physical Attacks (EGAP) has published two related Physical Attack Alerts.

The full European Fraud Update is available to EAST Members (National, Global and Associate).

GAAD cracks down on airline CNP fraud with 79 arrests

GAADThe 12th Global Airline Action Days (GAAD), which ran from 18 – 22 November 2019, resulted in the arrest or detention of 79 individuals suspected of travelling with airline tickets bought using stolen, compromised or fake credit card details. GAAD was coordinated from Command Posts at Europol in The Hague, INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation in Singapore, Ameripol and Colombia in Bogota, Canada and NCFTA (with the US Secret Service) in the US.

Some of the reported cases were linked to illegal immigration, where the arrested passengers were in possession of counterfeited IDs or valid documents from other persons from different nationalities.  Card-not-present (CNP) fraud, the purchase of physical goods with compromised cards, has significantly increased throughout the EU and across many sectors such as, airline tickets, car rentals and accommodation. Tens of thousands of crimes are reported in many EU countries and volume is increasing every year.

Airline companies are among the most affected by CNP fraud.  It is estimated that losses for the airline industry globally have reached close to 1 billion USD per year, as a result of the fraudulent online purchases of flight tickets. These online transactions are highly lucrative for organised crime and are often linked to more serious criminal activities including irregular immigration, trafficking in human beings, drug smuggling and terrorism.

Eurojust assisted during the action days, together with the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), which deployed officers to 28 airports. The Airport Communication Project (AIRCOP), implemented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in partnership with INTERPOL and the World Customs Organization (WCO) and counting the European Union as its main donor, also took part in law enforcement activities at airports in Africa, by deploying one officer at the main Command Post in Europol HQ.

Representatives from airlines, online travel agencies, payment card companies, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), European Airline Fraud Prevention Group and Perseuss, collaborated with Europol’s experts to identify suspicious transactions and provide confirmation to law enforcement officers deployed in the airports.  Europol’s European Migrant Smuggling Centre (EMSC) joined this year’s operation to provide better support to EU Member States and partners for fighting migrant smuggling networks. The GAAD operation was further supported by the Taskforce Travel Intelligence (TFTI).

Wil van Gemert, Europol’s Deputy Executive Director Operations, said “Airline ticket fraud is borderless by nature. This operation was the culmination of many months of meticulous planning between Europol, law enforcement, judiciary and border agencies, airlines and credit card companies, and is a perfect example of how our combined forces can make distinctive contribution in the fight against these criminal syndicates operating across borders”.

Paul Stanfield, INTERPOL’s Director, Organized & Emerging Crime, commented “The Global Airline Action Day operation is an excellent example of how collaboration between the agencies as well as the public and private sectors serves to tackle and prevent crime such as credit card fraud. The operation was underpinned by professional commitment and mutual support across borders between national, regional and international police organizations”.

Cooperation and information exchange between the public and the private sector is the most efficient way of fighting tickets fraud and all other forms of organised crime, such as irregular immigration, trafficking in human beings, drug trafficking.  The EAST Payments Task Force (EPTF) provides a public/private sector platform which focusses on driving down CNP fraud.

EAST Publishes European Fraud Update 3-2019

European FraudEAST has just published its third European Fraud Update for 2019. This is based on country crime updates given by representatives of 16 countries in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), and 4 non-SEPA countries, at the 49th EAST Meeting held in London on 8th October 2019.

Payment fraud issues were reported by seventeen countries. Social engineering is a key concern. Seven countries reported phishing attacks. One of them stated that fraudsters are using phishing to get targets for fake web campaigns where consumers can win money, and another reported fake web surveys aimed at getting consumer data. In one country the quality of vishing calls is improving, where the people making the spoof calls are very believable and often have local accents from the customer’s home area. Impersonation fraud was reported by four countries – in one of them police officers are impersonated, and another reported spoof calls being received by customers from bank call centres.

Card Not Present (CNP) fraud was reported by six countries. One of them reported CNP fraud at digital media players. Contactless fraud was reported by two countries – in one of them it is related to lost and stolen cards, and in the other card present (CP) transactions are being made at small merchants up to the allowed limit. To date in 2019 the EAST Payments Task Force (EPTF)  has issued five related Payment Alerts.

ATM malware and logical attacks were reported by five countries – one reported a new way of getting malware onto an ATM, that did not succeed, and four reported the usage (or attempted usage) of ‘black-box’ devices to allow the unauthorised dispensing of cash. To date in 2019 the EAST Expert Group on All Terminal Fraud (EGAF) has published seven related Fraud Alerts.

Card skimming at ATMs was reported by thirteen countries. Overall skimming incidents in Europe continue to decline. Three countries reported the usage of ‘M3 – Card Reader Internal Skimming devices’, and the most recent variants continue to be made of transparent plastic. To date in 2019 EAST EGAF has published thirteen related Fraud Alerts. Year to date International skimming related losses were reported in 41 countries and territories outside SEPA and in 4 within SEPA. The top three locations where such losses were reported remain Indonesia, India and the USA.

Four countries reported card trapping attacks, one of them reporting such attacks at fake terminals, designed to resemble lobby door opening devices at bank branches.

Ram raids and ATM burglary were reported by nine countries and twelve countries reported explosive gas attacks. After one such attack collateral damage of over €200,000 was reported. Six countries reported solid explosive attacks. The usage of Triacetone Triperoxide (TATP) for solid explosive attacks is increasing across Europe. This explosive is also known as the ‘Mother of Satan’. Mixing TAPT is a complicated procedure that requires good knowledge of the chemicals, as there is a danger of setting off an unexpected explosion.

The spread of such attacks is of great concern to the industry due to the risk to life and to the significant amount of collateral damage to equipment and buildings. To date in 2019 the EAST Expert Group on ATM & ATS Physical Attacks (EGAP) has published nine related Physical Attack Alerts.

The full European Fraud Update is available to EAST Members (National and Associate).

47th EAST Meeting hosted by SIBS in Lisbon

The 47th Meeting of EAST National Members was hosted by SIBS at the SANA Metropolitan Hotel in Lisbon on 6th February 2019. National country crime updates were provided by 21 countries, and a global update by HSBC.  Topics covered included payment fraud and the evolution of payment technology, ATM malware and logical attacks, terminal related fraud attacks and ATM related physical attacks.

Presentations were also given by the EAST Payments Task Force (EPTF) and the EAST Expert Group on All Terminal Fraud (EGAF).  An update was given by the EAST Expert Group on ATM and ATS Physical Attacks (EGAP).

EAST Fraud Update 1-2019 will be produced in early March, based on the national country crime updates provided at the meeting.  EAST Fraud Updates are available on the EAST Website to EAST Members.

EAST Publishes European Fraud Update 3-2018

European FraudEAST has published its third European Fraud Update for 2018. This is based on country crime updates given by representatives of 15 countries in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), and 3 non-SEPA countries, at the 46th EAST meeting held in London on 9th October 2018.

Payment fraud issues were reported by fourteen countries. Seven countries reported card-not-present (CNP) as a key fraud driver. One country reported merchant manipulation of settlement files to force through authorisations on POS terminals – once the forced transaction is through on a card the merchant cashes out using it. One country reported malware related to two APT attacks – some Chinese criminals are under observation in connection with them. Another country reported impersonation fraud relating to bill payments – possibly involving collusive postal workers. To date in 2018 the EAST Payments Task Force (EPTF) has published six Payment Alerts covering phishing, malware on mobile phones, fraudulent mobile Apps, CNP fraud and Technological fraud. The EPTF has recently published payment terminology and definitions.

ATM malware and logical security attacks were reported by seven countries.  Four of the countries reported ATM related malware and six countries reported the usage (or attempted usage) of ‘black-box’ devices to allow the unauthorised dispensing of cash.  To date in 2018 the EAST Expert Group on All Terminal Fraud (EGAF) has published eleven related Fraud Alerts.

Card skimming at ATMs was reported by fourteen countries.  The overall trend is downward, as the recently published EAST European Payment Terminal Crime Report covering January to June 2018 highlights.  The usage of M3 – Card Reader Internal Skimming devices was reported by four countries and one country reported the use of M2 – Throat Inlay Skimming Devices.  Skimming attacks on other terminal types were reported by five countries, three of which reported such attacks on unattended payment terminals (UPTs) at petrol stations.  One country reported that a series of shimming devices at POS terminals had been detected and taken down.  To date in 2018 EAST EGAF has published twelve related Fraud Alerts.

Year to date International skimming related losses were reported in 44 countries and territories outside SEPA and in 6 within SEPA.  The top three locations where such losses were reported remain Indonesia, the USA and India.

Six countries reported incidents of Transaction Reversal Fraud (TRF), one of which reported a new attack variant where the criminals use a ‘chip-on-a-strip’.  To date in 2018 EAST EGAF has published five related Fraud Alerts.

Ram raids and ATM burglary were reported by eight countries and eight countries reported explosive gas attacks, one of which reported that two people had been sent to hospital due to related smoke inhalation.  Five countries reported solid explosive attacks.  The spread of such attacks has long been of great concern to the industry due to the risk to life and to the significant amount of collateral damage to equipment and buildings.  One such attack resulted in the death of a person, the first time that this has been reported.  To date in 2018 the EAST Expert Group on ATM & ATS Physical Attacks (EGAP) has published seven related Physical Attack Alerts.

The full Fraud Update is available to EAST Members (National and Associate).

46th EAST Meeting hosted by LINK in London

EASTThe 46th Meeting of EAST National Members was hosted by the LINK scheme in London on 9th October 2018. National country crime updates were provided by 18 countries, and a global update by HSBC.  Topics covered included payment fraud and the evolution of payment technology, ATM malware and logical attacks, terminal related fraud attacks and ATM related physical attacks.

Europol gave a presentation which included information on the latest Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA) 2018.

Presentations were also given by the EAST Expert Group on All Terminal Fraud (EGAF) and the EAST Expert Group on ATM and ATS Physical Attacks (EGAP).  An update was given by the EAST Payments Task Force (EPTF).

EAST Fraud Update 3-2018 will be produced later this month, based on the national country crime updates provided at the meeting.  EAST Fraud Updates are available on the EAST Website to EAST Members.

EAST Publishes European Fraud Update 2-2018

FraudEAST has published its second European Fraud Update for 2018.  This is based on country crime updates given by representatives of 18 countries in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), and 3 non-SEPA countries, at the 45th EAST meeting held in The Hague on 6th June 2018.

Payment fraud issues were reported by fifteen countries.  Seven countries reported card-not-present (CNP) as a key fraud driver.  Two countries reported attempted ‘Forced Post’ fraud, possible when some point of sale (POS) terminals allow the ‘force sale’ functionality.  One country reported a new form of malware on android mobile phones, distributed with a fake application uploaded from third-party android stores.  Another country reported cases of SIM swap fraud, where fraudsters authorise a bank transfer by switching the customer’s mobile phone number over to a new SIM and intercept the authorisation message.  To date in 2018 the EAST Payments Task Force (EPTF) has published five Payment Alerts covering phishing, malware on mobile phones, fraudulent mobile Apps and CNP fraud.

ATM malware and logical security attacks were reported by nine countries.  Five of the countries reported ATM related malware.  In addition to Cutlet Maker (used for ATM cash-out) a new variant called WinPot has been reported – this is used to check how many banknotes are in an ATM.  Six countries reported the usage (or attempted usage) of ‘black-box’ devices to allow the unauthorised dispensing of cash.  To date in 2018 the EAST Expert Group on All Terminal Fraud (EGAF) has published seven related Fraud Alerts. To help counter these threats Europol, supported by EAST EGAF, has published a document entitled ‘Guidance and Recommendations regarding Logical attacks on ATMs’.  It covers mitigating the risk, setting up lines of defence and identifying and responding to logical attacks.  This is available in four languages: English, German, Italian and Spanish.

Card skimming at ATMs was reported by fourteen countries.  For the first time one country reported the arrest of a Chinese national in connection with such attacks.  The usage of M3 – Card Reader Internal Skimming devices remains most prevalent.  This type of device is placed at various locations inside the motorised card reader behind the shutter.  Six countries reported such attacks.  One country reported the use of M2 – Throat Inlay Skimming Devices.  Skimming attacks on other terminal types were reported by five countries, four of which reported such attacks on unattended payment terminals (UPTs) at petrol stations.  To date in 2018 EAST EGAF has published ten related Fraud Alerts.

Year to date International skimming related losses were reported in 31 countries and territories outside SEPA and in 3 within SEPA.  The top three locations where such losses were reported remain Indonesia, the USA and India.

Three countries reported incidents of Transaction Reversal Fraud (TRF), two of which reported new attack variants.  To date in 2018 EAST EGAF has published four related Fraud Alerts.

Ram raids and ATM burglary were reported by eight countries.  Six countries reported explosive gas attacks, one of which reported such attacks against ATS machines for the first time.  Another reported that explosive gas attacks against ATMs have started for the first time.  Five countries reported solid explosive attacks.  The spread of such attacks is of great concern to the industry due to the risk to life and to the significant amount of collateral damage to equipment and buildings.  To date in 2018 the EAST Expert Group on ATM & ATS Physical Attacks (EGAP) has published five related Physical Attack Alerts.

The full Fraud Update is available to EAST Members (National and Associate).

Cross-border e-Commerce Police action leads to 95 arrests

Police forces across Europe have arrested 95 professional fraudsters and members of internet-based criminal networks in a successful cross-border e-Commerce Action (eComm 2018).

The joint law enforcement operation, coordinated by the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) from Europol’s headquarters in The Hague, was supported by 28 countries and ran from 4 to 15 June 2018. It received the direct assistance from merchants, logistic companies, and banks and payment card schemes. Europol also supported national authorities on-the-spot by providing analytical services in their investigations.

The main goal was to target online fraud through a coordinated law enforcement action within the European Union (EU) and beyond, followed by an awareness-raising campaign. This action also marks the start of several investigations with more arrests expected in the next few months. The activity was inspired by a similar UK pilot conducted in collaboration with Visa.

The suspects arrested during the operation were responsible for more than 20 000 fraudulent transactions with compromised credit cards, with an estimated value exceeding EUR 8 million.

The e-commerce action focused on combating card-not-present (CNP) fraud, to help create a safer online environment for customers worldwide by sharing information and developing best practices between law enforcement and the private sector. It promotes the hashtag  #BuySafePaySafe: tips to avoid becoming a fraud victim.

For more information visit Europol’s website.

Rui Carvalho, Chair of the EAST Payments Task Force (EPTF), represents EAST at Europol’s e-Commerce actions.

 

EAST Publishes European Fraud Update 1-2018

EAST Fraud Update 1-2018EAST has just published its first European Fraud Update for 2018.  This is based on country crime updates given by representatives of 18 countries in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), and 4 non-SEPA countries, at the 44th EAST meeting held in Frankfurt on 7th February 2018.

Payment fraud issues were reported by fifteen countries.  Seven countries reported increases in card-not-present (CNP) fraud related to ecommerce merchants in China.  Phishing activity was reported by four countries and one of them reported phishing attacks through advertisements placed on social media sites.  The EAST Payments Task Force (EPTF) issued a first Payment Alert in January 2018.  This covered a phishing email sent to employees of banking and financial institutions, which contained malware intended to exploit the local network and gain access to Swift services.

ATM malware and logical security attacks were reported by ten countries.  Five of the countries reported ATM related malware and one country reported the first successful Cutlet Maker cash-out attack in Western Europe.  To date in 2018 the EAST Expert Group on All Terminal Fraud (EGAF) has published two related Fraud Alerts.  Seven countries reported the usage (or attempted usage) of ‘black-box’ devices to allow the unauthorised dispensing of cash.  To help counter these threats Europol, supported by EAST EGAF, has published a document entitled ‘Guidance and Recommendations regarding Logical attacks on ATMs’.  It covers mitigating the risk, setting up lines of defence and identifying and responding to logical attacks.  This is available in four languages: English, German, Italian and Spanish.

Card skimming at ATMs was reported by sixteen countries.  The usage of M3 – Card Reader Internal Skimming devices is most prevalent.  This type of device is placed at various locations inside the motorised card reader behind the shutter.  Five countries reported such attacks.  Skimming attacks on other terminal types were reported by five countries, all of which reported such attacks on unattended payment terminals (UPTs) at petrol stations.  One country also reported the use of card shimming devices at POS terminals.  To date in 2018 EAST EGAF has published three related Fraud Alerts.

Year to date International skimming related losses were reported in 40 countries and territories outside SEPA and in 7 within SEPA.  The top three locations where such losses were reported remain the USA, Indonesia and India.

Five countries reported incidents of Transaction Reversal Fraud (TRF).  Two countries reported a continued increase in such attacks and two countries reported new modus-operandi.  To date in 2018 EAST EGAF has published two related Fraud Alerts.

Ram raids and ATM burglary were reported by ten countries and, to date in 2018, the EAST Expert Group on ATM & ATS Physical Attacks (EGAP) has published one related ATM Physical Attack Alert.  Eight countries reported explosive gas attacks and six countries reported solid explosive attacks.  The spread of such attacks is of increasing concern to the industry due to the risk to life and to the significant amount of collateral damage to equipment and buildings.

The full Fraud Update is available to EAST Members (National and Associate).

EAST supports Europol Strategic Payment Card Fraud Meeting

On 20-21 November 2017, Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), with the support of EAST, hosted an international meeting with a specific focus on combating payment card fraud across Europe and beyond.

In its sixth occurrence since it was first organised in Singapore in 2015, this meeting was held for the first time at Europol’s headquarters in The Hague, bringing together representatives from 3 regions of the world: 8 EU Member States (Portugal, Greece, France, Denmark, Spain, Romania, Bulgaria and Italy), Latin America (Argentina, Dominican Republic, Chile, Colombia and AMERIPOL) and Asia (Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and ASEANAPOL).

The EAST presentation focused on combating payment card fraud from the perspective of the private sector – EAST Executive Director Lachlan Gunn gave an overview of EAST and presented the latest threats, criminal methodologies and crime and fraud statistics.  EAST Development Director Rui Carvalho, who chairs the EAST Payments Task Force (EPTF), covered the latest payment crime trends as reported at the 43rd EAST Meeting.

The latest European Central Bank Report estimates €1.44 billion losses in Payment card fraud in 2013 The overall losses were up 8%. Card Not Present (CNP) fraud has experienced significant increases in Europe in the last years and although Card Present Fraud (CP) within the EU decreased during the last years still remain significant as the EMV (chip and pin) protection has not yet been fully implemented. In fact, organised crime groups set up permanent bases in overseas locations where Chip is not implemented cashing out compromised European cards.

EAST has supported all the Europol Strategic Meetings on Payment Card Fraud held in the ASEAN and LATAM regions.