Skip to main content

Never forget security: Card-less eATM fraud leads to theft of $3,000

chase bank eatm fraud news smartphone banking app password 123rf 26463673 ml
tashka2000 / 123RF Stock Photo
Do you use Chase Bank’s eATM machines, the ones which operate using your smartphone as identification? There are reports gathering criminals may have figured out a way to circumvent security measures, and steal money from your account. While not widespread, the stories do involve large sums of money, and should serve as a reminder about the importance of good information security.

The most recent story to come to light actually happened in November last year, where $3,000 was fraudulently taken from a Chase bank account via an eATM and the Chase mobile banking app. In a letter to local news site, the Chase customer, on finding the money missing from his account, was informed his account had been “hacked” using these services. The customer was also locked out of his account, which Chase said was due to multiple attempts to access it with an Android smartphone, a device he didn’t use.

Chase’s eATM machines differ from a traditional ATM by not requiring a card. You can access them using codes provided in the Chase phone app, a two-step verification style method which many may already be familiar with from for their Google account, Twitter account, and many others. That sounds more secure than a simple card and PIN system, so how was the account compromised?

It’s not absolutely clear, but another case does suggest the eATM may make it easier for thieves already attacking an online banking account to get their hands on cash. In this report from January, a customer lost $2,900 through an eATM after the victim’s online banking details, and associated phone number, were all altered, which then facilitated the theft using a card-less ATM. The similarity in the amount stolen in each case here is due to the higher, $3,000 daily withdrawal limit offered by some Chase eATM machines. A larger case featuring card-less ATM fraud was recently cracked, and anecdotal evidence of other eATM fraud cases appears on Reddit.

Should you be worried about using these machines, or smartphones, for banking generally? No, not if you remember the basics of protecting your identity and accounts. Criminals will always try to find ways into our bank accounts. Card-less ATM machines are becoming more common, with Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and other international banks all introducing the system. Chase Bank has also made alterations to improve security.

There’s a danger, due to our growing familiarity and comfort in using smartphones to make transactions either online, in-app, or through a mobile payment system, that we will forget all the usual advice on security still applies. Strong passwords, avoiding public Wi-Fi, lowering withdrawal limits, adding two-factor authentication where possible, and opting to receive message and email alerts of account activity all help avoid becoming victims of this type of crime.

Andy Boxall
Senior Mobile Writer
Andy is a Senior Writer at Digital Trends, where he concentrates on mobile technology, a subject he has written about for…
Google just redesigned one of its biggest apps, and it’s bad
Google Chat app on the Play Store.

Google Chat — Google's business-oriented messaging platform that is similar to Slack and Microsoft Teams — just got a big update for its Android and iOS apps. The update dramatically changes how you navigate the app and, uh, well, it sure is something.

Google Chat's mobile app used to be broken up into two pages: Chat (direct messages between you and other users) and Spaces (larger chat rooms for multiple people). As with most apps, you switched between these with a navigation bar at the bottom of your screen.

Read more
The Pixel Watch 2 just got a feature it should have launched with
The Google Pixel Watch 2 resting on a stone fireplace.

Google has heard everyone’s demands and has given in to a highly requested feature that should have already been a thing with the Google Pixel Watch 2: a fully charged notification. Yes, that’s right — you’ll now get a notification on your Android phone when your Pixel Watch 2 is fully charged. Hallelujah!

This new feature should be available starting today via the Pixel Watch app on version Google did not formally announce this feature, so it seems to be rolled out quietly (and was first spotted by Android Authority).

Read more
There’s only one reason I’m still using an iPhone in 2023
A green iPhone 15 lock screen.

It's not an understatement to say I am an Android smartphone fan, as an Android phone has been my faithful companion ever since I started using the HTC Desire in 2010. I've bounced from phone to phone in the 13 years since, and I've experienced good and bad phones alike. But in all that time, I've never spent much time with an Apple iPhone. I'm obviously not unfamiliar with iPhones, having used them during my time as a tech writer grabbing screenshots, downloading apps, and testing games — but never having used one as my primary smartphone is something of a blind spot.

The Apple iPhone 15 is a good reason to end that. After all, if I'm going to use an iPhone, it might as well be Apple's latest. Two weeks after booting it up and transferring my data to it, it's been ... a journey. While I can see the iPhone 15 is an excellent smartphone, too many of iOS's idiosyncracies rub me the wrong way. However, there's one feature I've grown to really love, and I'm going to struggle to live without it.
The iPhone 15 is a mixed bag

Read more