Feds arrest Romanian man in card skimming scheme - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Jason Miles

Feds arrest Romanian man in card skimming scheme

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Federal prosecutors announced the arrest Wednesday of a man suspected of carrying out a sophisticated scam designed to steal bank account information at automatic teller machines.

Prosecutors said Gabriel Cirlan, a Romanian citizen, was arrested earlier this week at a motel in Memphis.  Sophisticated credit card skimming equipment was found in his room.

"These devices were manufactured in such a way that they can attach to an ATM machine," acting U.S. Attorney Larry Laurenzi said.

Secret Service agent David Stutheit explained the crime, which uses a 'skimming device,' something he said he's never seen in Memphis.

"As your card in, it's actually capturing data off that credit card," he said.

According to Stutheit, criminals place the skimming device over the part of the machine where you insert your card.  In this case, Cirlan also had hidden cameras in his possession, used to capture an unsuspecting victim's PIN number as he or she enters it into the ATM machine.

"What's interesting is that the customer leaves with money and their card, so you assume you're safe in completing your transaction," Laurenzi said.

When, in fact, someone like Gabriel Cirlan has all of the information he needs to clean out your account.

Prosecutors said dozens of gift cards on which stolen data was placed were found in Cirlan's motel room.

There's no word on if there are any local victims.

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