Thieves milked 2.5 million from ATM

A system error allowed repeated ATM withdrawals for three alleged crooks, who were later apprehended

Thieves were able to use debit cards 509 times over three days to withdraw over DKK 2.5 million from several Copenhagen ATMs back in February. The information was only made public this week, when court proceedings began against three Rumanian men charged in the swindle, according to the daily newspaper Berlingske Tidende.

The three men face fraud charges in connection with the police's confiscation of 236 fake debit cards. During one instance of the fraud, a suspect withdrew money at the same ATM for nearly two hours.

The reason for the ATMs' generosity was that PBS, the firm which administers the Dankort international debit card, had not yet updated its debit card system to read 'prepaid' cards. This is a new type of card where customers pay in to an account prior to using it. The card used in this instance was issued in Italy.

The thieves were originally able to activate the fake cards by installing a small electronic device in a credit card reader at Arnold Busck Booksellers in Copenhagen.

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