ATM fraud threatens UAE holidaymakers

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DUBAI: Thousands of residents of the United Arab Emirates spending the Eid El-Fitr holiday abroad may not be able to gain access to cash as banks block international ATM transactions to combat fraud, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The fraud is believed to have occurred after a network that banks use to share sensitive information such as PIN numbers was breached, The National said.

The incident has exposed most banks in the UAE, the paper said.

It reported that Lloyds TSB said on Monday it had prohibited withdrawals from UAE-issued cards at cash machines in several countries, including Britain and the United States, while maintaining limits on local withdrawals.

In addition to having temporarily switched off the use of debit cards outside the UAE, Citibank said it had been blocking cards that were at imminent risk of being compromised.

Banks were closed in the UAE on Tuesday as the country joined most Arab states in celebrating Eid El-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. -AFP

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