Credit Card Skimmers Nabbed in Northeast Ohio
No reports in Strongsville yet of this kind of high-tech fraud, but two men arrested in Bath Township
Two men from Canada were caught putting data skimming devices on several First Merit ATMs in the area last week, raising concerns about the high-tech method of credit card fraud.
Detective Lt. John Janowski said no one in Strongsville has reported being a victim of card skimming.
But he said the crime "is around" and it's devious.
"You can get a lot of information very quickly," Janowski said.
With this type of high-tech skimming, thieves equip ATMs with false card readers that send them your data by text message.
Customers swiping their cards at the money machine or a gas pump would be hard-pressed to see the phony reader.
"They actually make a new face plate," Janowski said. "It's form-fitting -- they're not putting it on with duct tape."
At ATMs, the thieves will also often install a tiny camera.
"The readers capture your card number, and then the cameras pick up your PIN," Janowski said.
In the Bath incident, two men believed to be part of an organized Canadian ring were caught allegedly putting skimmers on several First Merit ATMs.
First Merit called Bath police May 3 to report the crime and ask for help tracking down the two suspects the bank had seen on security tapes.
Two men matching the description were arrested after they were seen walking walking across the Medina Road First Merit parking lot toward a hotel.
Police arrested Nazim Halil and Abdesselam Kharraz, both 20, from Toronto.
Bath police Chief Michael McNeely said an investigation found the men had placed the skimmers on several First Merit machines in the area. He believes the men are tied to an organized effort out of Canada.
The FBI and Secret Service are completing the rest of the investigation and charges are going to federal court, McNeely said. The number of accounts compromised could not be revealed because it is an ongoing investigation, McNeely said.