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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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GERMANY AND ISRAEL

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.

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