International crime syndicates have escaped with around $80 million from Australian bank accounts after bribing Australian shop workers in return for access to Eftpos terminals, according to Victoria Police.
Syndicate members tampered with terminals at up to 50 businesses across Victoria and more than 100 nationally after installing hidden cameras.
The syndicates were able to install cameras in ceilings of convenience stores and service stations to film people entering their identification numbers, according to Detective Senior Sergeant Bill Nash.
They also paid attendants to turn their backs while ATMs were removed and replaced. The criminals later retrieved card numbers from the terminals, created new bank cards and used them to withdraw cash from the ATMs, he said.
Nash said the Victorian fraud squad has devoted most of its resources to investigating the scam since a national taskforce was set up several months ago. Unfortunately “by the time police are notified, these villains are out of the country,” he said.