Eftpos Scam

You never know just who's watching every time you use your EFTPOS card. Powerful overseas criminal gangs have already fleeced $80 million dollars from our bank accounts and now they're trolling service stations, fast-food and convenience stores, recruiting corrupt staff to help them steal even more.

Detective Senior Sgt Bill Nash from the Major Fraud Squad says, "Once the console operator agrees to this, there's a down payment to allow the compromise to take place. The final payment might be something like $40,000 -- hard to say no to". Corrupt foreign tech experts can earn up to $100,000 just to fly into the country and tamper with stolen machines, snatching all your personal details. "The two main methods we've come across is with a camera in the ceiling to record the pin number and a chip in the EFTPOS machine to record the account details", said DSS Nash.

ATM skimming has been a huge racket for years but now theft by EPTPOS has taken over. Australia is fast becoming the number one country of choice for international criminals. Chris Gration from Veda Advantage, specialises in identity protection. He says, "They are very smart, technologically savvy, well funded groups, criminal groups from overseas, sometimes from eastern Europe or Asia. They tend to focus on Australia because we rely a lot on electronic banking and card products".

And don't think you're more protected at a major chain store. McDonald's outlets around Perth recently fell victim to the crime syndicate -- EFTPOS devices were stolen and replaced with card-skimming versions and 3,500 customers were cheated out of $4.5 million.

With 800,000 people skimmed every year, the scams are becoming more elaborate -- some even hiring out entire service stations to sting customers, luring them in with cheap petrol then cleaning out their accounts. "They asked me if I had children, gave me free lollypops, the whole thing was such a have now that I look back on it", said one victim.

Australia is one of the last countries in the world to implement chip technology. Steven Munchenburg from the Australian Bankers Association claims banks are spending millions on prevention. "This new technology is increasingly rolled out in Australia. We're also looking at new and innovative ways of making sure we stay ahead of the criminals", he said. But DSS Nash says, "I believe there is card technology in existence overseas that doesn't allow a compromise of a card. This doesn't exist in Australia. It should".

And while the best technology in the world will never stop this practice, there is plenty we can do to protect ourselves. "73% of Australians never change their pin, so our advice is change your pin regularly, monitor your transaction accounts and monitor your credit file", Chris said.