FICO: California, Florida and Northeast were hotspots for ATM fraud in 2012

Highlighting fraudulent practices in the US

FICO has released data showing which states were hardest hit by ATM compromises across the U.S. last year. FICO Labs data also showed that 20 states saw an increase in credit card fraud, including several along the East Coast.

An interactive map showing debit card and credit card fraud trends is available at

Nearly half (46%) of all card skimming reported by the FICO Card Alert Service occurred at bank ATMs, while 36% took place at retail point-of-sale (POS) terminals, and 18% occurred at white-label ATMs – machines not operated by banks. These results were significantly different from the data observed in 2011, when 79% of skimming incidents occurred at POS terminals, due largely to a multi-state crime ring that was identified by the FICO Card Alert Service.

“The prevailing fraud scheme has been ATM skimming because that only requires a PIN, not a signature – a finding that is clearly reflected in the map,” said John Buzzard, who manages the FICO Card Alert Service, which analyses more than 65% of all ATM transactions in the U.S. each day. “Skimming at bank-owned ATMs and white label/off-premise ATMs increased in 2012, and California, Florida and the Northeast were hit particularly hard.”

In its data concerning credit card fraud, FICO Labs found increases in 20 states, including 7 states on the East Coast: Maine, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Virginia. The state with the largest increase in credit card fraud was South Dakota, where the rate jumped nearly 26%.

“Fraud continues to be problematic and we must remain vigilant about protecting credit cards and bank accounts, but the good news is that innovative technologies are making it increasingly difficult to commit payment fraud,” said Doug Clare, FICO’s fraud chief. “In the 21 years since FICO Falcon Fraud Manager brought real-time fraud detection to the marketplace, the losses on U.S. credit cards, as a percentage of credit card sales, have been cut by more than 70%. It’s important to keep that in mind despite year-to-year fluctuations in fraud activity.”

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