Identity theft comes in many forms. Attaching card-skimming devices to card readers at gas pumps, ATMs and other point-of-sale locations is a growing way criminals are stealing your information and funds. Police consider the crime identity theft because criminals assume your identity to take your money. Agencies across the country are working to crack down on card-skimming operations, with one convicted ringleader getting 10 years in prison.
Mastermind of $5M card skimming scheme gets 10 years
The head of a card-skimming ring was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in a scheme that stole more than $5 million from the accounts of bank customers in several states , NJ.com reports.
Prosecutors say Vintila and his co-conspirators recorded customer keystrokes at ATMs using pinhole cameras and used skimming devices to read account information from the magnetic strips of the customers' ATM cards. Thousands of fake ATM cards were created using this stolen information from banks in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.
In addition to his prison sentence, Vintala was ordered to pay $7.5 million in restitution.
Car accident leads to three arrests for card skimming
Police responding to a car accident in New York arrested three suspects after finding evidence of an alleged card-skimming operation in the vehicle, according to Patch.com.
Olawale Seriki, Mesha Meronnee, and Walesca Nelson were taken into custody at the scene. Authorities say they discovered a card skimmer, a credit card re-encoding device and multiple re-encoded credit cards in the car.
Seriki was charged with 23 forgery-related counts and unlawful possession of a skimming device. Meronnee and Nelson were both face charges related to possession of a forgery device and a skimming device.
Traffic stop nets 53 bogus credit cards and skimming device
A Florida man pulled over for having heavily tinted windows was arrested when deputies discovered what they believe to be 53 counterfeit credit cards and several gas pump skimmers, the News-Press reports.
Deputies searched Lino Figueroa's car after pulling him over and say that in addition to counterfeit cards they found 35 unopened gift cards, a credit card skimming device, tools to gain access to gas pumps and 15 grams of edible marijuana.
Detectives are continuing the investigation to determine proper charges and the scope of the alleged crime.
Wisconsin police work to untangle complex skimming ring
Police in one Wisconsin county are working with the FBI to investigate an uptick in local bank customers hit by card skimming, according to the Vernon County Broadcaster.
Local authorities believe a number of gas pumps and other point-of-sale ATMs have been fitted with illegal skimmers that are recording account information. While they haven't been able to pinpoint the location of all the activity, banks have been asked to be on alert because of the high volume of citizen complaints.
After four weeks of increased skimming activity, police and FBI are working to discover those responsible and all affected machines.
Massachusetts and Kentucky hit by card skimming
Card skimmers were found at a gas station in Kentucky and an ATM in Massachusetts--two separate crimes that are part of a larger fraud trend around the country.
Police believe the skimmer at the gas station was in place for up to 45 days before it was discovered, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. Twelve customers have reported fraud related to the skimmers, but the investigation is still underway.
The skimmer at the ATM was in place for two days, SC Magazine reports. While authorities didn't disclose how many customers were hit, the bank has closed the affected accounts and provided those customers with new accounts and fraud monitoring.