News peg: “(B)ank officials revealed details of a massive “card-skimming” operation that they said was first observed in 2011 and had gradually peaked toward the end of 2012.”
“The problem became so widespread that the three main ATM networks operating in the country—Expressnet, Megalink and Bancnet—joined forces late last year and agreed to jointly implement measures to combat the scam.
“Nestor Tan, president of BDO Unibank, the country’s largest bank, described the modus operandi of the syndicate or syndicates.
“ ‘The syndicate surreptitiously installs card readers on ATM machines, just on top of the slot where you (insert) your card. To the untrained eye, you will think this is just part of the machine,’ Tan said.
“ ‘At the same time, they install minute cameras on top which records the client’s keystrokes when he enters his PIN,” he added.
“ ‘Within a few hours, they can have a duplicate card and withdraw money from your account,’ he said.” (Inquirer)
The following are the criminal provisions of the Access Devices Regulation Act (R.A. 8484) under which the perpetrators could be prosecuted, without prejudice to prosecution under the Revised Penal Code (but it’s a lot better to be safe by being careful):
“Sec. 3. Definition of terms. — For purposes of this Act, the terms:
“(a) Access Device — means any card, plate, code, account number, electronic serial number, personal identification number, or other telecommunications service, equipment, or instrumental identifier, or other means of account access that can be used to obtain money, good, services, or any other thing of value or to initiate a transfer of funds (other than a transfer originated solely by paper instrument);
“(b) Counterfeit Access Device — means any access device that is counterfeit, fictitious, altered, or forged, or an identifiable component of an access device or counterfeit access device;
“Sec. 9. Prohibited Acts. — The following acts shall constitute access device fraud and are hereby declared to be unlawful:cralaw
“(a) producing, using, trafficking in one or more counterfeit access devices;
“(b) trafficking in one or more unauthorized access devices or access devices fraudulently applied for;
“(c) using, with intent to defraud, an unauthorized access device;
“(d) using an access device fraudulently applied for;
“(e) possessing one or more counterfeit access devices or access devices fraudulently applied for;
“(f) producing, trafficking in, having control or custody of, or possessing device-making or altering equipment without being in the business or employment, which lawfully deals with the manufacture, issuance, or distribution of such equipment;
“(g) inducing, enticing, permitting or in any manner allowing another, for consideration or otherwise to produce, use, traffic in counterfeit access devices, unauthorized access devices or access devices fraudulently applied for;
“ (h) multiple imprinting on more than one transaction record, sales slip or similar document, thereby making it appear that the device holder has entered into a transaction other than those which said device holder had lawfully contracted xxx
“(j) obtaining money or anything of value through the use of an access device, with intent to defraud or with intent to gain and fleeing thereafter;
“(k) having in one’s possession, without authority from the owner of the access device or the access device company, an access device, or any material, such as slips, carbon paper, or any other medium, on which the access device is written, printed, embossed, or otherwise indicated;
“(n) effecting transaction, with one or more access devices issued to another person or persons, to receive payment or any other thing of value;
“Sec. 10. Penalties. — Any person committing any of the acts constituting access device fraud enumerated in the immediately preceding Sec. shall be punished with:
“(a) a fine of Ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00) or twice the value obtained by the offense, whichever is greater and imprisonment for not less than six (6) years and not more than ten (10) years, in the case of an offense under Sec. 9 (b)-(e), and (g)-(p) which does not occur after a conviction for another offense under Sec. 9;
“(b) a fine of Ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00) or twice the value obtained by the offense, and imprisonment for not less than ten (10) years and for not more than twelve (12) years, in the case of an offense under Sec. 9 (a), and (f) of the foregoing Sec., which does not occur after a conviction for another offense under Sec. 9; and
“(c) a fine of Ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00) or twice the value obtained by the offense, or imprisonment for not less than twelve (12) years and not more than twenty (20) years, or both, in the case of any offense under Sec. 9, which occurs after a conviction for another offense under said subSec., or an attempt to commit the same.
“Sec. 11. Conspiracy to commit access device fraud. — If two (2) or more persons conspire to commit any of the offenses listed in Sec. 9 and one or more of such persons does any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each of the parties to such conspiracy shall be punished as in the case of the doing of the act, the accomplishment of which is the object of such conspiracy. xxx “