Department of Justice charges five for schemes to steal account information and PIN numbers at ATMs – La Opinión

Department of Justice charges five for schemes to steal account information and PIN numbers at ATMs – La Opinión


As if it were a movie about professional scammers on the streets of New York, five people, apparently of European nationality, were arrested for being the main suspects of stealing the bank accounts of at least 600 people.

The men implemented a “sophisticated system” of theft of information in bank accounts to be able to empty the financial accounts of hundreds of clients, they installed skimming devices and cameras In ATMs, once the users’ information was extracted, they made purchases and cash withdrawals of thousands of dollars.

For this theft, the Brooklyn federal court, reported in a statementon the formal accusation in which he accuses the suspects of fraud and identity theft, this for several crimes related to ATM theft committed between May 2022 and February 2023.

The accused are: Ioan-Anton Gherasim, 38, Elvis Dan Atomei, 34, Dan Adrian Agafitei, 25, Bobi Borcea, 49, and Razvan Vicol, 36, respectively, were arrested Thursday after an extensive investigation by FBI investigators. the Secret Service and the NYPD.

“As alleged, the defendants engaged in a sophisticated scheme by installing cameras and devices in the card slots of ATMs to surreptitiously steal information from the victim’s bank account and use that stolen information to withdraw cash for their own personal benefit…Today’s arrests demonstrate that this Office will continue to investigate and prosecute fraudulent activities that compromise the financial security of victims,” stated United States Attorney for the District of New York, Breon Peace.

For his part, James Smith, Assistant Director in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and New York Field Office of the FBI, reported that; “The five defendants allegedly illegally obtained financial information using hidden devices implanted in ATMs to create counterfeit debit cards and steal thousands of dollars from more than 600 unsuspecting victims.”

“The defendants’ concerted efforts to conceal this fraudulent activity allowed the scam to impact the community for nearly a year, highlighting the widespread nature of criminal financial schemes. The FBI will continue to aggressively investigate all methods of fraud to protect financial privacy”, he stressed.

Federal prosecutors Irisa Chen and Raffaela Belizaire, with support from the FBI, the USSS and the New York police, are in charge of continuing with this case.

Given this vulnerable situation for thousands of customers, federal authorities warn ATM users about advanced data reading devices and installed cameras that may be well disguised and undetected.

AND urge users to review and protect ATM keypad when entering PIN and other user information to prevent your accounts from being compromised.

Some Suggestions to reduce or protect yourself from these thefts are:

  • Keep your PIN account numbers secret.
  • Cover with your hand when entering the PIN at the ATM.
  • Check ATMs and point-of-sale machines to confirm they do not have devices that are illegally installed, have moving parts, appear loose, or have been tampered with. If so, do not insert the card and notify the company and local authorities.
  • Use contactless cards or phones to make secure payments by tapping your card or phone on a contactless payment terminal.
  • Be sure to check your receipt after each purchase.

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