ATM scammers tried to steal $3 million from 6,000 bank accounts

The United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York filed an indictment against two defendants allegedly involved in an ATM skimming operation that resulted in the loss of over $3 million from 6,000 bank accounts.

The two alleged leaders of the operation targeted banks in New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Wisconsin  Antonio Gabor and Simion Tudor Pintillie, were arrested in Skokie, Illinois on December 6, 2012 and have been in federal custody, according to a statement.

“While traditional bank robberies may be on the wane, the charges we bring today are a reminder of the threat that cyber crime poses to banks and their customers. Together with our law enforcement partners, we remain committed to stopping these alleged high-tech bank robbers in their tracks.” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.

The ATM skimming ring was based in New York and Chicago. The Attorney’s Office says that nine other co-conspirators placed electronic devices on security card readers that secretly recorded a customer’s bank account data when the customer used an ATM.

The co-conspirators also installed hidden pin hole video cameras on ATM machines that secretly recorded customers’ PINs. After a period of time, the co-conspirators would remove the skimming devices and provide them to Gabor and Pintillie, who would use the stolen bank account and PIN numbers in order to create new bank cards that could be used to withdraw funds from victim accounts, according to the indictment.

It is alleged that the pair were engaged in over 50 skimming incidents that compromised approximately 6,000 individual bank accounts, from which the defendants made and attempted to make over approximately $3 million in unauthorized withdrawals. The case continues.

Author Rob Waugh, We Live Security

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