Australia – NSW Police Force urging people to use contactless payments to circumvent “ghost” terminals

By | August 17, 2017

Wagga businesses and the NSW Police Force is urging people to use the tap-and-go-chip on their debit cards to prevent fraudulent transactions through “ghost” terminals. 

Collins Booksellers owner Peter Halicki said he had noticed a big shift in people paying by contactless means and encouraged his customers to make the most of the system.

“I’ve definitely noticed in the last 12 months a huge uptake of more people using tap and go,” he said.

“I would definitely recommend that people use the tap-and-go system if it is in fact safer and prevents fraud.”

Fraud and Cybercrime Squad commander Matt Craft urged people to use “contactless technology wherever possible”.

“A ghost terminal is a terminal that doesn’t communicate with the regular banking network,” he said.

“It is a legitimate looking terminal that criminal syndicates alter the internal software of so that it doesn’t communicate with a bank.”

Cloned cards are made by stealing the magnetic strip data and PIN from legitimate card transactions, and then transferring the information to another plastic card with a magnetic strip.

The cloned cards are typically made from loyalty store gift cards that have a magnetic strip, and Superintendant Craft said there are ways to identify a ghost terminal.

“On occasions, it is very difficult to distinguish between a legitimate terminal and fraudulent terminal,” he said.

“It is best to look at the screen.

“Normally they have some sort of financial institute branding come up on the screen.

“Check the proper amount is on there and have a look at the date and time.”

If a ghost terminal is in use, Superintendent Craft said, “they will always ask you to swipe” your card instead of paying contactless.

Scammers need PIN and card data to make a clone and there are a variety of simple prevention techniques that can greatly assist in preventing fraud.

“It’s a sophisticated way of defrauding individuals. Organised crime is involved in this,” Superintendent Craft said.

“Use contactless wherever it’s available, regularly check your (bank) statements for irregularities and wherever there is a problem, report it immediately to your financial institution.

“It’s important to acknowledge that the banks in Australia collectively have lead the world in trying to improve security on cards and using the chip.”

Source: The Daily Advertiser

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