Four men have been charged with stealing $1.5 million dollars after installing electronic equipment that recorded people's account and pin numbers from ATM's in New York, Chicago and Miami.
Mihail Draghici, Ionel Dedulescu, Didi Theodor Ciulei and Laurentiu Mugurel Manta were indicted Monday on multiple charges, including bank fraud, according to CBS News, for the scam that included four Chase Bank ATMs in Midtown, Chelsea and across from the United Nations. The four also installed devices at Citigroup ATMs in Chicago and Miami.
According to the Dow Jones News Service, the suspects stole PIN and account numbers gathered from the skimming devices and "then encoded the stolen account information onto the magnetic stripes of blank plastic cards, such as store gift cards." They then used the fake cards to withdrawal cash at other ATMs, emptying numerous people's bank accounts.
The crimes occurred in April and March of 2010. If convicted, the four men could each face up to 60 years in prison.
'ATM skimming' is not a new scam and experts, like Howard Schwartz of the Connecticut Business Bureau, recommend using only ATMs that are in areas that are "well-lit, that are frequented by other people", and checking the slot to see whether or not a recording device has been slipped in.