Spanish police arrest eight in $45 million global ATM fraud

Spain's arrests follows actions in the U.S. and Germany after a spectacular series of synchronized thefts

Among the equipment seized by Spanish police from a gang accused of ATM fraud included MSR605 magnetic card encoders.

Among the equipment seized by Spanish police from a gang accused of ATM fraud included MSR605 magnetic card encoders.

Spanish police said Sunday eight people have been arrested who allegedly aided a global ring that stole millions from two banks through fraudulent ATM withdrawals.

Six Romanians and two Moroccans are accused of making 446 withdrawals totaling €285,000 (US$392,000) using cloned payment cards at ATMs in Madrid in February, according to a news release from Spain's Interior Ministry. They're also alleged to have stolen €68,000 in December 2012.

Spain's roundup adds to arrests made by the U.S. and Germany in the scam, which saw the Bank of Muscat, based in Oman, and the National Bank of Ras Al-Khaimah PSC, also known as RAKBANK, in United Arab Emirates, lose $45 million.

The well-planned thefts hit the banks twice, in December 2012 and in February, using a network of people who synchronized withdrawals using stolen payment card numbers at ATMs around the world.

U.S. federal prosecutors in New York indicted eight people last May and arrested six in early November. According to court documents, the withdrawal limits were raised on prepaid MasterCard and Visa payment cards.

The limits were increased as a result of a breach of credit card processors in the U.S. and India, which have not been identified.

Spain said its arrests came after Germany detained a key figure who compromised the credit card processors, disabling security features intended to protect accounts such as geographical restrictions and payment limits.

Those arrested in Spain are accused of receiving the prepaid debit card numbers and encoding the numbers onto dummy cards to make the withdrawals.

Spanish police released a video of a raid in which they seized €25,000, payment card encoding devices, 1,000 new magnetic-stripe cards, Apple and other computer equipment, jewelry, perfume and cologne.

The video showed the magnetic stripe card encoding devices, with the model number "MSR605," which is widely available for under $200 on websites such as Amazon and eBay.

RAKBANK suffered $5 million in losses after 4,500 ATM withdrawals were made in 20 countries on Dec. 22, 2012. A second large attack between Feb. 19 and 20 saw the Bank of Muscat lose $40 million, withdrawn by people in 20 countries in just 10 hours.

The New York group is alleged to have withdrawn $2.8 million of RAKBANK's money in thousands of transactions from 140 ATMs around New York. The bulk of it was sent to the organizers of the attacks, according to U.S. prosecutors.

The Interior Ministry said it worked with a U.S. agency on the latest arrests, but did not identify the organization.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags cybercrimelegalCriminalBank of MuscatRAKBANK

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Shop safely with our award-winning security solution. Protect yourself this Black Friday and get the exclusive Black Friday discount for Bitdefender 2019!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?