Computer Crime Problems Research Center

Natalja Akhtyrskaya


The classification of plastic cards crimes fulfillment mechanism


The crime as an element and part of a subject of criminalistics sciences is considered that area of the objective validity which knowledge is the base to all system of criminalistics. It is possible to say without exaggeration, that studying of a crime, ways of its fulfillment and concealment, the circumstances favorable or interfering its fulfillment, was that necessary condition which has made possible the development of means and methods of struggle against criminality.


As correctly marks M.K.Kaminsky, «a crime, taken in the actually criminalistics plan, acts not only as the legal fact, but also as subject activity of the person». The crime draws attention of criminalists as illegal activity, as the certain act of human behavior. V.V.Klochkov and V.A.Obraztsov directly specify, that «a crime as the object of scientific and practical knowledge represents a specific version of human activity - process of interaction of the criminal and the environment surrounding him, generating their changes which matter for true on criminal case».


Illegal activity is studied with a number of sciences, mainly of criminal - legal cycle. Taking into account the data of these sciences, and mainly, criminal - legal and criminality characteristics of a crime, the criminalistics brings to a focus the functional side of illegal activity, on that system of relations and actions which form the mechanism of a crime.


The concept of a crime mechanism has not settled in the literature yet. A.N.Vasiljev understood as the mechanism of a crime the «process of a crime fulfillment, including its way and all actions of the criminal accompanying with appearance of material and non-material traces, able to be used for disclosing and investigation of a crime». On V.A.Obraztsov, the mechanism of a crime was defined in more abstract form, as «... a dynamic system of illegal behavioral acts and the phenomena caused by them, having criminalistic value and realized in the certain conditions, expression, an orientation and sequence».


A.M.Kustov carries out detailed research of a problematic of the crime mechanism. He has not only tracked sources and development tendencies of criminalistic doctrines about the mechanism of a crime, but also has found out a ratio of a crime mechanism with some scientific criteria of criminalistics, has shown, what are the features of a crime mechanism in system of criminal community activity and how the of actions of various participants of criminal event are reflected in this mechanism. A.M.Kustov has revealed laws of occurrence, preservation and destruction of the information on a crime mechanism, has developed recommendations on modeling the crime mechanism and use of similar models at investigation.


As the mechanism of a crime of A.M.Kustov defines «...system of processes of interaction of a crime participants, both direct, and indirect, among themselves and the material environment, connected to use the corresponding instruments, means and other separate elements of conditions. This definition rather reminds definition of a crime way, and beforehand to warn possible objections of probable opponents, the author has suggested counting the doctrine about a way of a crime as a component of the doctrine about the mechanism of a crime. The way of a crime in its practical realization can really be considered as an element of the mechanism of a crime, but it does not form the basis for association specified private criminalistic theories as it acts only as the general object of research.


We understand the mechanism of a crime as the complex dynamic system consisting not only the behavioral acts and the phenomena caused by them. From R.S.Belkina's point of view, the elements of this system are:


- The subject of a crime;

- The relation of the subject of a crime to the actions, their consequences, to accomplices;

- A subject of an encroachment;

- A way of a crime as system of the determined actions;

- Criminal result;

- A place, time and other circumstances concerning to conditions of a crime;

- The circumstances promoting or interfering fulfillment of a crime;

- Behavior and action of the persons who has appeared casual participants (active and passive) events;

- Connections and attitudes relations between the actions (way of a crime) and criminal result, between participants of event, between actions and conditions, the subject of a crime and a subject of an encroachment.


Apparently from stated, the mechanism of a crime is a concept more wider, than structure of a crime which, as is known, is characterized by four elements.

As any system the mechanism of a crime is formed and functions under influence of the certain laws. Not all of them can be attributed to a subject of criminalistics. We shall say, laws of formation of a criminal plan, criminal behavior is a criminology subject, laws of behavior and actions of the persons who has appeared participants of event, - area of psychological science. Laws should concern to a subject of criminalistics:


1) Occurrence and development of connections and relations inside the mechanism of a crime;

2) Formations and realizations of a crime way;

3) Occurrence and current « … the phenomena connected to crimes before and after the criminal order, important for investigatory, judicial, operative-search and expert practice ».


Let's consider said by the example of swindle with plastic cards.

The growth of the plastic cards market in the international payment systems occurs in Ukraine avalanche rates. On rates of growth of volumes of issue of payment cards we already have overtaken, for example, Russia, which more recently instructed us to work with cards.


In total in the country there are about 2049 cash dispensers, more than 14 thousand payment terminals, almost 30 thousand imprinters. According to National bank for July, 1, total of the cards emitted by the Ukrainian banks, has made 4,2 million, from which 3 million - international, other - local. The gain of cards of the international systems now makes about 200 thousand pieces a month. Such rates quite allow Ukraine to exceed a 4-million level on total of emitted maps of systems Europay and Visa to the end of 2002.


The international cards are issued now about 40 domestic banks; despite of toughening of a competition in the card market, the ideology of development is still determined by its leaders. Difference from a situation of 2001 will be, that today, due to active propaganda campaign of the market leaders and positive experience of card products introduction, the demand for plastic cards is formed. Leaders in the market of plastic cards of the international systems are Privatbank, « AVAL".


Ukraine has come out on top in Central and to the East Europe on rates of Visa Cards issue. On January 24, 2002 Visa International has declared release by the banks - members of one million cards Visa in Ukraine. And already on the data on the end of 1 quarter 2002, quantity of cards Visa in Ukraine has grown up to more 1,4 million pieces. For today it is approximately 30 % of all domestic plastic market. The increase in quantity of cards results in growth of turnovers. The annual turnover only on cards Visa emitted in Ukraine was doubled and has made 794,8 million dollars, and the quantity of transactions has reached 16,2 million.


At the same time bankers prefer to hold back that the majority of proprietors of "electronic purses» have received them not at the will. And in fact the lion's share of plastic is issued within the framework of salary projects.

Under forecasts of analysts Europa International, the cards market intensively developing due to salary projects at the large enterprises, will be slowed down. The reason is a saturation of this capacious, but is not a boundless segment. According to domestic financiers, for today salary programs cover only 10-15 % of the working population. That is the stock of growth still is great enough.


About 30 % of cards it is possible to relate on the bill of left clients or on cases when bank issues extra maps, and in fact the resulted statistics does not take it into account. The average size of transaction is at a level of 3-4 dollars on one holder of a card. Not so willingly they pay off by means of cards in domestic shops.


According to company Europay, growth of the market occurs mainly for the debit cards, which share in the domestic market makes about 80 %. However today banks leaders do not put a problem of quantitative growth, the emphasis is done on quantity of cards and services on them. The banks, wishing to save or win leadership in the card market, have seriously engaged in increase in a share of credit cards.


The politics of banks in the sphere of development equiring networks for last half-year has undergone changes. Banks have practically ceased to expand a network of POS-terminals and imprinters and even remove terminals from points where they are not used actively.


There are a lot of reasons on which trade enterprises accept cards in payment of the goods with the big reluctance. First, the size of the commission raised by the bank (about 3 % of the sum of operation). Second, term of means transfer for the account of the enterprise (3-4 days). Thirdly, it is necessity to show official revolutions under the current account of the enterprise. There can arise as technical problems (bad quality of communication lines, refusals of the equipment), and the problems connected to swindle. Besides expansion of a network of terminals became very favorable also to banks. In fact in conditions of a rigid competition they do not take any more a payment for granting of the terminal, and users still very seldom use cards for payment of the goods and services. If abroad 70 % of buyers pay off with plastic cards in shops, in Ukraine this percent while is small.


Alongside with it the park of cash dispensers extends. As a whole on system the quantity of the cash dispensers serving plastic cards of the international systems, has grown for the first half-year more than on 400 units. Under forecasts of bankers, up to the end of the current year the quantity of "electronic cash departments» should increase at least on as much.

The increase in tariffs at services on delivery of cash has resulted the growth of banks interest in expansion own cash dispensers networks. The Council of the Ukrainian interbank association of members of Europa International at the session on April, 3, 2002 has ratified new rates domestic interchande (payment, which bank - emitter pays to bank-equire for delivery of cash thru cash dispensers) for payment products Maestro and MasterCard at a rate of 1 % + 3 UAH. The sums of operation (earlier - 1 %, but not less than 2 UAH.). And in fact some banks expected to live at the expense of another's cash dispensers, not expanding the network. Now it is necessary them, if they do not want to lose clients, to incur additional charges.

Banks work on increase of quantity of the services given thru cash dispensers. So, for last half-year introduction of payments thru cash dispenser became very popular at bankers. The basic addressees of payments there are operators of mobile communication - UMC, DCC, “ Kievstar GSM».


In process of increase in volumes of the domestic plastic market the problem of safety becomes more and more actual. Cards are emitted in the mass order and are enough cheap. Thus the risk of a fake grows.

On a global scale swindlers abduct annually by means of plastic cards of systems Visa and Europay about 2 billion dollars. World experience shows, that the number of swindles with cards depends on "maturity" of the market. Swindlers constantly search for the countries already having significant volumes of issue of cards, but yet not learned effectively to struggle with card abusing. Today in the Ukrainian market a lot of fine and average banks work, which are not ready to spend enough efforts and means for safety and quality of this service. In result the level of swindle on operations with payment cards in Ukraine remains much above global, and quality of service is lower.


Now it is possible to allocate three types of swindle by means of cards: a deceit on the part of the seller, the buyer and the third parties. Last type is most distributed. Internet abounds programs for generation of numbers of cards with the data of their owners. The international payment systems for a long time have developed the mechanism of struggle against swindlers. Due to interaction of sellers, banks and law enforcement bodies bust them. They return the stolen money to victims even if thieves are not found. Owners of cards should only strictly carry out recommendations of the bank - emitter: monthly to receive extracts under the account and to verify them with the real charges. If there will be a discrepancy, it is necessary to write immediately the application - protest, and practically in 99 % of cases the stolen money will return.


There is not official statistics on activity of swindlers in Ukraine for today. If banks work on monitoring roguish operations this information is strictly confidential.

On the informal data, losses from activity of card tricksters in Ukraine make about 1 % of volume of operations with cards. It agrees to requirements Visa and Europay, this figure should not exceed 0,14 %.


Association of banks - members of Europay Int. in 2000 initiated the job on equiring. It has been connected to necessity of maintenance required safety level and qualities of service. The recipe of struggle against swindlers from Europay appeared enough simple.


The shops have started to demand the buyers' passport. On each trade enterprise the limits have been established (depending on group of the goods) on that sum of purchase, at which requirement of the document not necessarily. Besides have enhanced the responsibility sellers. By new rules - if the bank will prove, that the mistake at calculation by the stolen or forged card was admitted by the seller, so money are not transferred back. The given measures gave surprising effect - on results of the last year the plunders of money by means of plastic cards became three times less.


It is necessary to unit the bankers’ efforts against card swindlers. According to the achieved arrangement, in Ukraine the interbank system of information interchange about roguish operations will shortly earn at calculations by plastic cards. The Ukrainian interbank association of banks - members Europay and Ukrainian processing center introduce the system of an exchange of the bank data.


Now each bank tries to solve problems alone. For example, the First Ukrainian international bank (FUIB) has finished certification in international payment system Visa International of software product of tracking of suspicious operations with plastic cards. FUIB plans to receive the certificate of both payment systems - Visa International and Europa International on already functioning product of the risk - analysis of operations in a mode online. Besides, FUIB realized new service - change of personal identification number (PIN-CODE) thru a cash dispenser. The given service is unique and it is not represented to any banks of Ukraine. Now, if somebody to the stranger knew PIN or it is necessary to establish uniform PIN for several cards, it can be changed, not visiting bank, thru a network of FUIB’s cash dispensers.


But the wisest decision of problems with swindlers, in opinion of bankers, is insurance. Banks are interested to insure risks of losses against swindle with payment cards. But, unfortunately, today domestic insurers basically are not ready to insure similar losses of banks. The main reason is the absence of experience of a rating of such risks. And the large foreign companies do not want to insure so fine, to their measures, losses of banks. And the majority of bankers agree with them. Cost of insurance services, in their opinion, exceeds the sizes of the damage really rendered to bank by card swindlers. At the given stage of development of card business to pay 40-70 thousand dollars for the insurance is economically inexpedient.


Some banks develop own insurance programs for clients. Granting of insurance policies to clients is considered as expansion of a spectrum of bank services.

Joint-stock commercial bank "Nadra" together with Ukrainian innovative insurance company "Investservice" since April 8 has introduced the program of insurance of risks of holders of credit cards Visa Classic, MasterCard Mass and Visa/MasterCard Gold from roguish operations. According to the president of bank, the obligatory program of insurance is carried out at the expense of bank, however at desire the client can issue the additional insurance. The given service assumes insurance of risks, which arise owing to a fake or copying of cards, wrongful write-offs of means from card bills of holders in result of lose or thefts of a card and similar frauds. All credit cards made out from April 8 receive the insurance automatically.

The most often kind of swindle with plastic cards is skimming - copying (fake) of the data from a magnetic strip of a real card, drawing of these data on a false card (from 80 up to 90 % of the cases connected to swindle).


Also swindlers use the stolen or lost cards, which they try to show for payment in shops, counting on that the personnel of a shop will not carefully check the data of the client. But some swindlers with such cards show also false documents that represent additional danger.


With the purpose of a covering of the given risks the bank policy, which guarantees to bank the indemnification, is applied. And insurance inures from the moment of production of a card in a bank stop - sheet. The payer is the bank. Insurance of the losses put to the holder of plastic cards, as a result of frauds with the lost or stolen cards till the moment of their production in a bank stop - sheet the holder of a plastic card who pays the policy carries out.


On a service role in struggle against criminality the existing criminalistic means and methods of crimes prevention can be classified:

- Means and methods of an establishment of the reasons and the conditions promoting fulfillment or concealment of crimes;

- Means and methods of reception of the information on preparing crimes;

Means and methods of protection of various objects from criminal encroachments and creations of favorable conditions for occurrence of the evidentiary information.


Prevention of crimes is impossible without an establishment of the reasons and the conditions promoting their fulfillment or concealment. These data should be received during investigation and judicial consideration of concrete criminal cases. We not casually speak about an establishment alongside with the conditions promoting fulfillment of crimes as well the conditions, allowing hiding fulfillment of a crime. It is known that to warn a crime it is possible by creation of such conditions in which its fulfillment will be complicated, even because it will be uneasy for hiding. In this case for the criminal there is obvious a reality of its exposure and punishment, that, undoubtedly, will play the important precautionary role, is especial for varying, unstable elements.


Criminalistic means and methods of an establishment of the reasons and the conditions promoting fulfillment or concealment of crimes, can be subdivided:

- The means and the methods of a direct establishment of these given by body of investigation and court;

- The means and the methods of reception by body of investigation or court information on these reasons and conditions;

The means and the methods of an expert establishment of these data.


As first two groups of means and methods of an establishment of the reasons and the conditions promoting fulfillment or concealment of crimes, are similar to means and methods of reception of the information on a preparing crime, they can be considered together. These groups of means and methods represent conditions of planning and the organization of preliminary both judicial investigation and tactical receptions and methodical recommendations which allows body of investigation or to court directly to be convinced of existence of that or other fact sheet reflecting presence of the specified reasons and conditions, and also to receive the information on preparing crimes.

Criminalistic means and methods of judicial research and prevention of crimes are included into nation-wide system of measures of struggle against criminality where, except for them, criminal - legal, criminal - remedial and operative - search measures enter. Positions of the Decree of the President of Ukraine from September 18, 2002 ¹ 836/2002 « About measures on maintenance of information safety of the state » concern to such measures.


It is difficult to provide realization of positions of any statutory act in practice without use of the special mechanism of the control over its performance. These functions abroad carry out the supervising bodies allocated large powers and at times acting in one person with law enforcement bodies. Thus the initiative in maintenance of legality and the law and order in economic relations belongs to supervising bodies, which invite law enforcement bodies for the further investigation of these facts.


So, the problem of prevention of commercial swindle and its suppression is assigned in the Great Britain to a lot of the governmental departments and the nongovernmental organizations. The basic functions of the control are carried out by the Ministry of Trade which representatives inspect activity of the companies according to the Law on the companies of 1984. Significant control functions allocate English bank which carries out check of activity of all financial and credit establishments of the country. Similarly to the Ministry of Trade he is competent to spend preliminary investigation and to pass materials in court. Between two departments there is a close interaction. In particular, their representative’s form the incorporated control committee engaged in check of exchange offices. Under aegis of this committee the numerous nongovernmental organizations borrowed with the prevention of commercial swindle operate also.


In the USA the Ministry of Finance plays the main role in struggle against the crimes connected to money legalization. It is responsible for publication of the "Act about bank secret" rules application. Though the use of the law only by Ministry of Finance can entail only civil punishments, in situations where application of criminal measures is possible, it works together with the Ministry of Justice and attorneys of the USA.


Thus, with a view of prevention of plastic cards swindle it is necessary:


1) At purchase of a card to take an interest in presence of an insurance policy;

2) The insurance is expedient for taking always;

3) The especial attitude is demanded with the PIN-CODE, which cannot be written down in a notepad (especially with a mark « my PIN-CODE ») or on the back side of a card;

4) Do not use a card for payment in doubtful institutions;

5) If the card is lost - at once to inform the bank. Concentration of such information will provide more effective job directed on the prevention, revealing and disclosing of offenses and crimes.




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  2. Klochkov V.V., Obraztcov V.A. The crime as an object criminalistic knowledge // Questions of struggle against criminality. - Release 42 - Ì., 1985.
  3. Criminalistics. - The Moscow State University, 1971.
  4. Obraztcov V.A. About some prospects of integration and differentiation of knowledge in criminalistics.
  5. Kustov A.M. The theoretical basis of criminalistic doctrines about the mechanism of a crime. - Ì., 1997.
  6. The decree of the President of Ukraine "About measures on maintenance of the state information safety « September, 18, 2002 // the Official bulletin of Ukraine, 2002 ¹ 38
  7. Svjatnenko A. losses from card swindle seven times more allowable // the Week Mirror. ¹ 40 (415) October 19 2002ã.
  8. Larichev V.D. The crimes in credit-and-monetary sphere and counteraction to them. Moscow, INFRA-M. 1996.




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