Coordinated ATM heist in Japan nets $12.7M

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Is there an advantage to carrying out a massive blitz like this over steadily picking away over several weeks or months with a smaller gang? Is there, maybe, a competition going on to see who can net the most in a day?

These kind of things are usually spotted quickly regardless of the scale (not everyone notices immediately when their bank accounts are being attacked, but many do) so a quick hit avoids detection that can bring monitoring and capture or a shutdown of the method/account access.


As always, my question is how the confederates were organized, and what did they think they were doing?



Why would anybody need $1000 cash in a konbeni? There’s problem number one.

Also, how do you pull this off without alerting the cops? Maybe a lot of the perps were the cops. Two men can keep a secret if one of them is dead.

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Illustrates a useful travel tip:

If you need an ATM that will work with your foreign ATM card, find a 7/11. Very safe bet.

Maybe it’s different now, but bizarrely I found this to be a bigger issue in fucking Canada than Japan or Europe.


I blame hentai and 4chan.


They have their tentacles in to everything… EVERRRRRYTHING!!!


Personally I would sell off the bank cards to the confederates. Making them all avaliable on that one day.

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For “heists” of this scale, carding “gangs” typically organize either with other carders they know or with other local, non-carding, gangs. Based on its location, I’d be hugely surprised if the Yakuza wasn’t involved - if for nothing else than for A) permission to use their territory & B) to pay either a % of the take or a nominal fee for using said territory.

This scale also requires a bit of an up-front-stake to purchase the supplies as most carding operations, while capable of scale, simply can’t blossom like this overnight. It’s likely, again based on the region, that a patron fronted that stake for a larger % off the top.

The “runners” typical get paid on a sliding scale. Low/new runners get a flat payment, regular runners or those managing a team of runners would likely see their flat + a small % of what their team brought in.

To answer a question above, I’ve never seen carding operations use “innocent money mules” for ATM operations like is done with banking scams where funds are transferred through a mules own account.

Additionally, due to both the sensitive nature of the operation (timing is key & all the preselected ATM’s are hit in a specific order to maximize the number of ATM’s that can be hit) & the amount of money out in the field being collected, everyone involved is known and/or trusted. The most anonymity is when a team lead is trusted to pick their own team & there is always anonymity between the runners & the person at the top who staked it.

While I’ve seen largely independent operations pull big hauls, the scale we’re looking at here necessities organization & funding to be this successful.


This has Eastern European written all over it.

JK, wtf do I know? Nothing. I just feel things.

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First because this is still a cash based society. Second because often convenience store ATMs are either the only ones nearby or open when you need cash. Third because 7 Bank is the only one that connects to Star/Cirrus meaning access to overseas banks.


My guess would be that the people making the withdrawals are members of some darknet forum who paid for credentials to be delivered at specific time. I don’t see how the person/people orchestrating this could get around the massive logistical problems of getting a bunch of thieves to send you some of their stolen cash.

Edit: This is just a guess, and I see that @jamesnsc and others have presented alternate theories. I could swear I’ve heard of heists like this taking place over a huge geographic area, and when I read “1,400 ATMs” I assumed that was true, which would lead me to believe it was a disorganized attack.

Having read up on it, it seems I was probably wrong and the cashers tend to be smaller groups who do send back some money after the fact. I guess you would make a lot more money if you can organize something like that.

Obviously they were well organized. The only open question in my mind is if they were well enough organized to avoid the cameras in the ATMs and surrounding areas. Obviously they thought they were robbing banks.


My wife and I bought a used kei car for 600,000 yen. We paid in cash we withdrew from a Family Mart ATM. Not common maybe, but a perfectly normal transaction.

The picture Doctorow posted was of a bank ATM, btw. Here’s a convenience store one

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My guess is that the kind of criminals who pull this sort of thing off prefer to be on the top end of a boss/employee relationship rather than the bottom end of a customer/salesman relationship. Your customer rats you out to the police when he’s caught; your henchman knows to keep his mouth shut.



Your customer can’t inform on you if he doesn’t know anything about you. I believe there are a few dark net markets for carders that use bitcoin and have a reputation system, escrow, etc.

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7 Bank ATMs look a little different

Note they are also located in many subway stations not just 7-11 stores


Trying to find ATMs that would take my Canadian bank cards in the UK was a nightmare! Thankfully Bank of Scotland had my back, no one else tho, not even the ripoff noname ones in stores!