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The Almighty Buck Crime News

ATM Repairman Accused of Taking (and Faking) Cash 258

fysdt writes "An ATM repairman was nabbed in Phoenix on charges of having stolen about $200,000 in ATM funds. His method was almost brilliant in its sheer stupidity: He pocketed the cash, and replaced it in the machines with 'counterfeit or photocopied $20 bills.'"
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ATM Repairman Accused of Taking (and Faking) Cash

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  • Re:Photocopied? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Shrike82 ( 1471633 ) on Friday May 27, 2011 @10:34AM (#36262844)
    Yes, they look for the EURion constellation [] and refuse to copy anything with it in. Modern scanners also block attempts to reproduce anything with the pattern. Obviously there are ways round this, but it probably puts off casual attempts at counterfeiting by morons and curious kids.
  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Friday May 27, 2011 @10:41AM (#36262930) Homepage

    Some years ago, I worked for a company (two companies actually) centered around the ATM vending machine service. While there, I learned how trivial it actually is to rob ATMs. While I am certain the technologies and security protocols involved have evolved beyond my previous knowledge of the time, most ATMs were a small terminal with a cash dispenser and connected to "the network" by a simple dialup modem which operated over the public POTS network. By using a device called a "skuch" box which simulated POTS networking, modems and other such things such as a laptop with transaction processing software simulating the ATM authorization network, a person could connect to a local ATM terminal, run simulated transactions and dispense real cash in massive amounts without raising a great deal of suspicion from most shops and stores which host ATMs.

    As I said, my knowledge is "OLD." I am pretty sure the are now using other communications technologies such as wireless networks and such, but given that it has been shown how trivial taking over or creating your own local GSM network actually, is, adapting the previously described methods to current technologies would not only be easier, but could be done wirelessly from a "service van" close by. (I observe that many businesses still authorize credit card transactions over POTS so it seems to me that ATM debit transactions are still done over POTS as well, so many the old methods are still valid in some places.)

    But you get the idea -- ATMs are cash dispensers controlled by highly vulnerable computers operating over highly vulnerable networks.

  • Re:Photocopied? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Friday May 27, 2011 @10:55AM (#36263080) Homepage

    No, if he was smarter he would have grabbed a couple of million then gone to the Bahamas.

    As a police friend of mine says, if you're going to commit a crime, do it just once and make it worthwhile. The people who get caught are the ones who have to keep going back to do it again.

  • by TheSpoom ( 715771 ) <> on Friday May 27, 2011 @11:10AM (#36263310) Homepage Journal

    You're crazy. We've reversed transactions at ATMs with our bank [] where the ATM didn't spit out the money but marked it as a successful transaction; they gave us a temporary credit and a month later sent us a letter saying their investigation found that our report was accurate and that the credit was now permanent. With something like this, I'd imagine the investigation would be pretty easy; just track which machines the guy refilled.

    C'mon. There's cynical and then there's not doing the research.

  • Re:Photocopied? (Score:4, Informative)

    by ATestR ( 1060586 ) on Friday May 27, 2011 @11:20AM (#36263448) Homepage

    The ATM machines don't hold that much. I know... I did some pick-up work as an ATM messenger (read: guy who stuff's money in and takes deposits out) for a while after the dot.Bomb. Typical bank ATM might hold $200K in $20's if it was full. The little ATMs that you find in a Walmart or 7-11 are maxed out at $60K.

With all the fancy scientists in the world, why can't they just once build a nuclear balm?