A New York man, 39-year-old Bogdan Rusu, was sentenced to 60 months in prison on charges of using credit card skimming tactics to steal $390,141 from various New Jersey banks, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) report.
By using secret card-reading devices and pinhole cameras at various locations, Rusu and others were able to commit a widespread bank fraud conspiracy that targeted various banks in Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey from August 2014 to November 2016, according to law enforcement.
Rusu and his co-conspirators were able to capture payment card information from customers as they accessed their accounts via ATMs. From there, they used the information to steal customers’ money from their accounts.
The scheme involved 11 other people, all of whom were working to install secret devices on ATMs to facilitate the robberies. Rusu, along with all of the other people involved in the scheme, pled guilty to the crimes.
The case was prosecuted by Homeland Security Investigations, along with agents of the U.S. Secret Service’s Boston Field Office; the East Longmeadow, Cambridge, Ludlow and Medford police Massachusetts' and various district attorneys' offices.
As payments move more into the digital and card realms, with online sales surging to $143 billion in recent months, fraudsters have been finding new ways to steal, including utilizing skimmers that prey on customers buying things over the internet.
But as credit card scammers have gotten more digital, they’ve also become easier to detect, thanks to Bluetooth technology that can wirelessly reveal the presence of skimmers.
Developed by researchers at University of California, San Diego and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, a new app called Bluetana is able to track the presence of the skimmers without having to dismantle any machines.