MANILA - Skimming in automated teller machines (ATM) has become more sophisticated than ever, an expert warned.

Digital forensic analyst Drexx Lagui said criminals have become more resourceful and creative in their strategy to make unauthorized withdrawals.

"Since the banks have started to step up their efforts by putting covers over the pin, sometimes they also put cameras there...There's the advent of 3D printing. It's like a paper print, but you draw something using the camera and you have a 3D output. That technology allows the miniaturization of electronics...It enables criminals to be very creative and exploitative," Lagui told ANC.

Lagui said most skimming incidents happen in malls where spurious individuals target shoppers who look loaded with cash.

He added that recent incidents involving foreigners also suggest the presence of a syndicate.

"He was an Eastern European, which means they're funding the organization, they have money mules, they fly here, get visas, and live. That would tell you that the amount they are getting is enough for them to fund an expedition in the Philippines and have enough profits for sharing. If they are attacking foreign accounts, that means they are also exploiting loopholes in our law," he said.

Lagui advises the public to be vigilant to protect their hard-earned money this Christmas season.

Skimming is the act of stealing debit or credit card information and even the owner's PIN and other personal information from a remote location.

READ: How to to protect yourself from ATM skimming