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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — CBS News has learned authorities are closing in on a group of thieves who is ripping off ATM machines across the country. The robberies are known as “jackpotting.”

Hackers take control of an ATM’s computer allowing them to take out cash.

Most Americans have only seen jackpotting in the movies because it has never carried out in this country, until now.

Diebold Nixdorf, which makes ATMs, warned its customers of “Potential jackpotting attacks moving from Mexico to the United States.”

Another manufacturer, NCR, said in an alert, “This represents the first confirmed cases of losses due to (jackpotting) attacks in the US.”

In the “jackpotting” attacks, the suspects get access to standalone ATM’s with front facing control panels. They open the panel with a key and then inject malware the ATM’s. Once they are able to get control of the ATM, money is withdrawn at will.

The compromised ATM’s can dispense up to 40 bills every 23 seconds, which can result in the theft of tens of thousands of dollars from a single ATM.

Officials say the suspects usually work in teams with one suspect first reconfiguring the ATM and another then moving in later to steal the money. They also disguise themselves in hats and other articles of clothing as if they are working for a company that repairs ATM’s.

According to the United States Secret Service — in this modern day type of bank robbery — the suspects have been targeting ATM’s in the Pacific Northwest, West, South and most recently New England.

Late last week an alert went out to law enforcement and financial institutions across the country with a warning about “jackpotting.” Officials say they received a tip that a coordinated attack on ATM’s across the country was planned for the next 10 to 15 days. Authorities are urging the public to be on the lookout for this type of crime and if they have information to contact the police.

Click here and here to read more about the jackpotting alerts.


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