French ATMs fork over €1M to crooks

Aug. 20, 2012

French banks are scrambling to plug a security gap that allowed criminals to steal more than €1 million ($1.24 million) from ATMs using nothing more than a prepaid bank card and a dinner fork.

"After making one transaction with their bank cards they insert a small fork with the teeth bent back into the cash distributor," police told Le Parisien, according to an article by RT. "Then the thieves attempt a much bigger second withdrawal, which they cancel before the transaction is finished. By then the cash is prepared in the distributor, which they pull out with the help of the fork."

The RT article said the thefts were uncovered when staff at French bank Caisse d'Epargne discovered that ATM withdrawal records weren't matching up with cash dispensed. The bank used CCTV video to figure out how the thieves were operating.

So far, police have tracked down and arrested four of the thieves, whom they believe to be Romanian nationals.

For more on this topic, visit the security research center.

Topics: Cash Dispenser / Recycler / Acceptor , Central and Eastern Europe , Security , Skimming / Fraud

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