Seems like your cell phone is out of date by the time you get around to buying a protective case for it. That’s how fast technology changes for criminals and the law enforcement agencies chasing after them as well.
Skimmers began to show up on the criminal radar a couple of years ago, but the devices investigators first ran into were clunky machines that still left plenty of risk for whoever planted and picked them up to collect the data.
That meant criminal enterprises hired “runners” to plant the devices at ATMs, gas station pumps and other places were people readily used their ATM.
The devices needed space for memory and a camera planted nearby to pick up the victim’s pin.
The devices law enforcement is running into now are as small, smart, and convenient. They are blue-tooth enabled, small, unobtrusive and less risky for the criminal who needs only park close enough to get the information transferred wireless.
“It’s like installing a virus,” Sgt. Scott Spalding of the Orange County Sheriff Department’s economic and computer crimes detail.
In this story, Spalding and other investigators shared their work with the Glendale Police Department, leading to the arrest of seven people in a sophisticated skimming scheme. They also shared details about some of the technological advances that have made these financially devastating machines as accessible as $50-worth of equipment from Fry’s.
Continue reading “Credit card skimmers get more sophisticated.”