ATMs tagged with skimming devices is a growing problem here in the U.S. Recently, 2 Romanian men were arrested for trying to seal peoples’ credit card and debit card information by using a skimming device on a Chase ATM in Brooklyn, New York.
The two suspects of the ATM skimming scam are 34-year-old Maurentiu Baies and 36-year-old Marcel Boariu. The two Romanian nationals were arrested earlier this week and charged with burglary, possession of a forgery device, and criminal possession of a skimmer device. If convicted, the duo could face a lengthy prison sentence for their involved in the ATM scam.
Brooklyn Police were alerted to the presence of the skimming device when employees at the Chase bank on Flatbush Avenue contacted them. According to reports, the bank noticed the skimming device on one of their ATMs, at which point they immediately contacted the local Brooklyn Police Department.
Once the police were notified, the department’s financial crimes task force begun an investigation to determine who was responsible for placing the skimming device on the ATM. The task force set up surveillance on the ATM and patiently waited for the thieves to retrieve their skimming device. On Tuesday, Baies and Boariu were observed removing the skimming device along with several cameras mounted on the ATM. Police immediately responded by taking the two suspects into custody.
This case begs the question: how do you protect yourself from skimming devices on ATM machines? Unfortunately, it’s difficult to determine whether or not a skimming device is on an ATM, and fiddling around with an ATM isn’t recommended for obvious reasons. You can, however, cover your PIN as you enter it. Crooks oftentimes set up cameras to capture ATM users’ PINs. By covering your numbers, you’ll prevent them from being able to use your card. Of course, high-tech thieves may still sell your credit card number (without the PIN) on the black market.
“We’ve seen that these people are starting to leave these devices on for not that long a time. Short, quick hits,” said Detective Robert Cimino of the Police Department’s financial crimes task force. “To the untrained eye, they’re very difficult to spot, especially in low-lit areas. The best defense: Cover your code as you enter it, so it cannot be matched to the card number. They can’t use one without the other.”