July 02, 2012
Frank Rudewicz, Advisory Services Principal, Featured in CNBC.com Article "US Consumers Face Higher Risk of ATM Robbery"
By Jennifer Leigh Parker
Late last month, a Southern California man was sentenced to three years in jail for hijacking local ATMs to rob bank customers of more than $200,000. His method, called "skimming" is not new, and the authorities know how to defeat it.
But security experts say that this low-tech form of bank fraud will continue in the U.S. because banks and merchants are balking at replacing our outdated magnetic-stripe card system.
"It's all going to migrate here because the account information [on] magnetic strip cards is very easily copied," said Frank Rudewicz, head of the Forensic and Investigative division for accounting and consulting firm Marcum LLP.
Skimmers steal or "skim" cardholders' account numbers by attaching portable electronic readers to ATM machines to copy data from the card's magnetic strip.
The thief still needs the cardholder's PIN, Rudewicz explains, but can easily obtain it with a hidden camera installed on the ATM, or by means of a plastic covering laid onto the ATM's keypad that logs keystrokes.
European banks no longer use magnetic strips, a technology that is a half-century old. Instead, microchips embedded in the cards communicate with the ATM to identify customers. "They're much farther along than we are," says Rudewicz.