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Cook Solutions Group

Night drop depository fishing attacks

September 30, 2023

Night Drop depositories seeing an increase in fishing attacks to retrieve deposits. Anti-fishing finger kits serve as a cost effective deterrent.

Have you found string or fishing line with lead weights, fishing hooks, or two-sided tape in the cash safe portion of your night drop and/or the chute?

Nigh Drop fishingattacks

Fishing attacks using weighted string or fishing line with hooks and other bait traps, are nothing new. Thieves have historically used various tools to try to “fish” out deposits of bank and credit union night drops in many regions of the US. They have been given the term “anglers”, just like real fishermen, except these anglers are angling for money, not fish. Over the years there have been improved replacement heads made for the night drops to help prevent fishing.

What is a night drop and how are they vulnerable to fraud and fishing attacks?

A night drop, also known as a night depository, is a secure drop box located outside a bank or financial institution. It allows business owners and merchants to deposit cash, checks, and credit card slips after normal banking hours. While night drops provide convenience, they are vulnerable to fraud and fishing attacks in the following ways:

  1. Fishing Attacks: Criminals may attempt to steal deposits by using various tools like wires, hooks, or adhesive substances to "fish" out the contents from the night drop. This is known as "night depository fishing" or simply "fishing attacks." These assaults can prove effective if the night deposit is not adequately safeguarded or supervised.
  2. Vandalism: Drop boxes at night can also be susceptible to acts of vandalism. Offenders may harm the deposit box or interfere with its lock system to obtain the items inside. This could lead to the loss or destruction of the deposited money and papers.
  3. Skimming: In some cases, criminals may attach skimming devices to night drop boxes. These devices can capture card information from credit card slips inserted into the night drop, enabling identity theft and fraudulent transactions.
  4. Security Neglect: A financial institution that fails to uphold or safeguard its night drop adequately can easily fall prey to criminals. The absence of monitoring, appropriate illumination, or security precautions can heighten susceptibility.

To mitigate these risks, Fis and businesses should implement security measures such as surveillance cameras, anti-fishing mechanisms, and regular maintenance of night drops, all of which CSG can provide. Additionally, customers should be educated on safe deposit practices, like not leaving personal information visible on deposited items. CSG can also help with procedures as needed.

CSG has taken it a step further and provided an anti-fishing night drop “fingers kit”. Here’s how it works. The anti-fishing fingers or teeth are installed and do not disrupt they way the night depository works. The fingers work to ‘cut the thread’, preventing the criminals from fishing or pulling out the loot.

Like ATM/ITM Hook & Chain attacks, night drop fishing attacks have been on the rise recently, especially in the Western US. The night drop anti-fishing fingers kits are relatively costs effective and only take about an hour of labor to install once ordered and so far have been the best deterrent against such attacks.


Night drop depository fishing attacks
Anti-fishing fingers kit

Due to the recent rise in attacks of night drop units we have anti-fishing fingers that get installed on the inside of the night drop that do not hinder its normal functionality. These fingers cut off the strings and don't allow the bait-traps the assailants are using to be retrieved.

These units have been installed and tested at dozens of sites already all over the Western U.S. We have received customer comments and pictures of the units in action. The units can be mounted on 99% of night drops deployed at branches. We can special order a different size if needed to allow for the 1% that is not a typical size night drop.

CSG Hook & Chain ATM/ITM Attack Update- watch the webinar

Written by: Steve Ryker, Vice President of Compliance and Risk