Several clients of various banks in Slovakia have had money stolen from their accounts in recent days, with the thieves using a method known as skimming, the TASR newswire learned on Monday, February 18. Skimming involves implanting special devices on cash-points (ATMs) designed to read data from credit/debit cards and transfer it to the thieves.
Tatra Banka announced that 45 customers have had money stolen this way, while ČSOB registered four such cases, VÚB Banka three and Slovenská Sporiteľňa two cases. The new website tvnoviny.sk was the first media outlet that drew attention to the issue on Monday.
For now, it remains unclear how many cash dispensers in Slovakia have been rigged up with the reading devices. Tatra Banka, VÚB Banka and Slovenská Sporiteľňa representatives have told TASR that the affected cash dispensers do not belong to their respective networks. ČSOB found that one of its ATMs had been rigged, however. All banks have announced that they are able to detect the illegally withdrawn money and the affected clients’ money will be returned.
Certain banks have pre-emptively blocked access to their accounts from so-called risk countries, i.e. countries where thieves have already accessed their accounts using the method of skimming. According to available information, the problem currently concerns Mexico and Australia.
[The devices have to be physically rather than virtually implanted - ed. note].
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
19. Feb 2013 at 10:00