Most people are familiar with the concept of ATM jackpotting by now. This new crime trend has become rather apparent in a fair few countries worldwide. Authorities in the United States have now charged two men with bank fraud involving such a scheme. It is the first time something like this occurs, but it will not be the last time either. Using malware to jackpot ATMs is a criminal offense in virtually every country around the world.

The trend of ATM jackpotting will not come to an end anytime soon. Criminals have come up with multiple ways to exploit bank teller machines. Especially the use of malware has proven to be both successful and lucrative. It is this type of malware which was used by two men in the US. They emptied several ATMs for cash using malicious software. As a result, they both face bank fraud charges. It is the first time any official charges are filed related to ATM jackpotting in the US.

ATM Jackpotting Arrests in the US

These men were arrested with the help of the US Secret Service. More specifically, the agency has warned banks and manufacturers about ATM jackpotting in the past few weeks. Now that this trend has come ashore in the US, things are shifting into a higher gear. Bank teller machines often store several tens of thousands of dollars. Finding a clever way to trick such machines into spitting out cash is a popular trend. By dressing as repair technicians, criminals can easily manipulate teller machines as they see fit.

It seems the Citizens Bank has become the first US-based victim of ATM jackpotting. The institution reported suspicious activity in January of 2018. A thorough investigation resulted in the arrests of Alex Alberto Fajin-Diaz and Argensys Rodriguez. Both men were caught red-handed when attempting to empty a bank ATM. At the time of the arrest, the machine was spitting out $20 bills in quick succession. According to various sources, the team cashed out around $9000 from one teller machine.

Now that both men face a jail time of 30 years, it will be interesting to see what happens. It is possible both men are just small fish in the pond of a larger organization. ATM Jackpotting is a very serious business in the criminal world. It usually requires a near business-like hierarchy to look for targets and empty the machines. Whether or not any other culprits will be named or arrested, remains to be seen.

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock

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About Author

JP Buntinx is a 30-year old FinTech and Bitcoin enthusiast living in Belgium. His passion for finance and technology made him one of the world's leading freelance Bitcoin writers, and he is working to achieve the same level of respect in the FinTech sector.

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