International ATM fraud on the rise

I was intrigued to read about Lloyds TSB reporting a significant rise in the number of fraudulent withdrawals from overseas cash machines using UK-issued cards.

The bank says that criminals are increasingly using cloned debit or credit cards to withdraw cash from ATMs in countries where chip and pin technology has not yet been introduced.

According to Lloyds TSB, most fraudsters who skim or clone UK cards tend to copy the information from the magnetic strip at the back of the card, but most cash machines in the UK now identify customer's cards using the chip.

Of course, not all cards support chip and PIN, even though they have a chip on board. My Northern Rock debit card, as well as a Sainsburys Bank ATM card, for example, both have chips, but the ATMs read the magnetic stripe.

How do I know this? Simple. When the chip is read by the ATM, the machine takes a short while - around a second - to ask you for your PIN. With magnetic stripe-driven PIN requests, the delay is negligible...