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FICO REPORTS A 70 PERCENT RISE IN DEBIT CARDS COMPROMISED AT U.S. ATMS AND MERCHANTS IN 2016

Increase follows sharp rise in 2015; consumers should take steps to protect themselves 

  • FICO detected 70 percent more compromised debit cards at U.S. ATMs and merchant card readers in 2016, according to new FICO data
  • Compromises of ATMs and merchant devices in the US rose 30 percent, following a six-fold increase in 2015
  • The average duration of a compromise fell from 14 days in 2015 to 11
  • Cardholders should employ common sense when using ATMs, and check their transactions frequently
  • FICO® Card Alert Service monitors hundreds of thousands of ATMs in the US

The number of payment cards compromised at U.S. ATMs and merchants monitored by FICO rose 70 percent in 2016, Silicon Valley analytic software firm FICO reported today. The number of hacked card readers at U.S. ATMs, restaurants and merchants rose 30 percent in 2016.

The number of compromises recorded in 2016 set a new high for the FICO® Card Alert Service, which monitors hundreds of thousands of ATMs and other readers in the US. This new data follows a 546 percent increase in compromised ATMs from 2014 to 2015.

As in 2015, the most compromises occurred at non-bank ATMs, such as those in convenience stores. About 60 percent of compromises were at non-bank ATMs, with the rest occurring at bank ATMs or point-of-sale (POS) devices, such as card payment machines at retailers. These figures cover only card fraud occurring at physical devices, not online card fraud.

The average duration of a compromise continued to fall — on average, an ATM or POS device would be compromised for 11 days, compared to 14 days in 2015. The 2016 average duration is less than a third of the average duration in 2014, 36 days. The average number of cards affected by a single compromise was cut in half.

“As the last few years have proven, skimming technology and knowhow have improved and are more accessible to the general population, so we will continue to see increases in compromises and the speed at which they occur,” said TJ Horan, vice president of fraud solutions at FICO.“With some of the confusion we still have at various POS checkout locations, it’s still important for consumers to be on alert. FICO’s Card Alert Service is dedicated to detecting fraud faster and reporting compromises so our customers can mitigate their losses.”

FICO offers these tips for consumers:

  • If an ATM looks odd, or your card doesn’t enter the machine smoothly, consider going somewhere else for your cash.
  • Never approach an ATM if anyone is lingering nearby. Never engage in conversations with others around an ATM. Remain in your automobile until other ATM users have left the ATM.
  • If your plastic card is captured inside of an ATM, call your card issuer immediately to report it. Sometimes you may think that your card was captured by the ATM when in reality it was later retrieved by a criminal who staged its capture. Either way, you will need to arrange for a replacement card as soon as possible.
  • Ask your card issuer for a new card number if you suspect that your payment card may have been compromised at a merchant, restaurant or ATM. It’s important to change both your card number and your PIN whenever you experience a potential theft of your personal information.
  • Check your card transactions frequently, using online banking and your monthly statement.
  • Ask your card provider if they offer account alert technology that will deliver SMS text communications or emails to you in the event that fraudulent activity is suspected on your payment card.
  • Update your address and cell phone information for every card you have, so that you can be reached if there is ever a critical situation that requires your immediate attention.

FICO works closely with banks and card issuers around the world to identify fraud trends and shut down card fraud. In addition to FICO® Card Alert Service, FICO offers the FICO® Falcon® Platform, the leading card fraud solution, which protects 2.6+ billion cards worldwide.