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CRIME

New campaign to combat ATM fraud launched

The Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) is launching a new campaign to stop ATM fraud following reports that more than 100 Sparkasse customers’ accounts were recently compromised in apparent skimming attacks.

New campaign to combat ATM fraud launched
Photo: DPA

From October the BKA plans to work with banks to identify more flexible and rapid ways to exchange information and to develop common defence strategies, BKA head Jörg Ziercke told the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung on Thursday.

Ziercke did not go into further detail. A BKA spokesman confirmed the new partnership but also declined further detail.

But Ziercke told WAZ that new strategies were needed to attack fraud, and particularly skimming, in which customers’ ATM card details can be captured by a thief who simply puts a recording device over an ATM.

About 190,000 German consumers are affected each year by skimming, while 60 to 70 customers can be hit in one attack on an ATM.

Ziercke said police were scrambling to stay on top of new, emerging fraud techniques. With the explosion of computer use, thieves have been adopting more sophisticated methods of operation.

“The perpetrators’ methods are getting more sophisticated,” he said. “The theft of credit card data and subsequent fraudulent use has become ‘established.’”

DPA/The Local/mdm

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CRIME

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.

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