Four Romanian nationals in Florida have been charged in a series of ATM skimmer frauds that targeted banks in New York City, Cicero (near Syracuse), NY, and Rochester, NY. They are charged with, among other things, aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit credit card fraud. According to the Syracuse office of the Secret Service, they stole $1.8 million overall.
The Syracuse Post-Standard reported:
Chase employees discovered the skimming device, which records the information from the magnetic strip of any card that passes through, said Kirk, resident agent in charge of the Syracuse office of the Secret Service.
Since the investigation began, police determined that the suspects were at the Cicero bank on at least five occasions in November, stealing about $40,000 from customers.
The total amount they scammed was $1.8 million and most of it was wired to Eastern Europe, Kirk said.
According to a purported victim in the article’s comments, this wasn’t a terribly sophisticated skimmer.
That is the exact ATM I used, and whammy, they cloned my card and used it at 2 Pennsylvania Walmart’s. I remember thinking the bank must be cheap to fix the ATM with tape, stupid me.
Then, a comment on the local economy:
Why would thieves target Rochester and Cicero to skim money. If they visited the comments on this website they would have known that hardly anyone has a job here. I guess this is probably the only tourism we’re going to get so we shouldn’t complain…
In the meantime, the Daily News reports $500,000 in thefts by skimmer on Staten Island. This case sounds similar, but it’s not yet clear whether these were also perpetrated by the men in Florida.
We’ve covered ATM skimmers and how to spot them extensively in recent months. Here are a few highlights:
ID An ATM Skimmer
Here’s What A Card Skimmer Looks Like On An ATM
Video: How An ATM Skimmer Scam Works
Romanian men charged in ATM scam in Cicero [Post-Standard] (Thanks, Chris!)
ATMs on Staten Island rigged for identity theft; bandits steal $500G [Daily News]