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NSW Police target ATM "skimming syndicate"

Police are cracking down on an ATM "skimming syndicate" with potential Eastern European links after a number of Sydney ATMs have been targeted.

NSW Police have stepped up their efforts to find those responsible for a spate of ATM skimming incidents across Sydney, as part of an investigation into a potential "skimming syndicate" with Eastern European links.

(Credit: Triton ATM Cash Machine image by InfoCash, CC BY-ND 2.0)

The investigation comes as more than 40 ATMs have been targeted, with detectives noting "a marked increase in the incidence of ATM skimming throughout Sydney" since January this year.

Police confirmed that ATMs have been targeted across a number of Sydney suburbs, including Artarmon, Avalon, Balmain, Bexley, Bondi Junction, Burwood, Campsie, Caringbah, Chatswood, Clovelly, Dee Why, Double Bay, Dural, Gordon, Hurstville, Haymarket, Kingsford, Mona Vale, Mosman, Neutral Bay, Parramatta, Ramsgate, Rockdale, Seven Hills, Strathfield, St Ives and the Sydney CBD.

As part of the crackdown, police from the Fraud and Cybercrime Squad have released CCTV footage of a number of persons of interest. This follows the arrest in March 2014 of a Hungarian man and a Romanian man who allegedly tampered with an ATM on Sydney's Market Street.

According to the commander of the Fraud and Cybercrime Squad, Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis, police believe the two men are part of a larger syndicate still targeting ATMs.

Person of interest.
(Credit: NSW Police)

"Our investigation, which has been strongly supported by a number of banks, suggests that the spike in ATM skimming incidents can be attributed to an organised syndicate targeting ATMs in suburbs right across Sydney," said Detective Superintendent Katsogiannis.

"The skimming devices the group are using are capable of copying card details while a tiny video camera records people entering their personal identification numbers. A copy of the compromised card is then created, with all of the capabilities of the original, allowing the group to access the account holders' funds at liberty.

"While we have arrested some members of the group, we know there are still a number out there, so cardholders need to exercise caution when using ATMs."

Detective Superintendent Katsogiannis advised that ATM users should cover their hand when entering their PIN and regularly check bank statements for suspicious transactions. In relation to the CCTV footage released by NSW Police, Katsogiannis said those with any information on the identities of the people shown should contact Crime Stoppers.