Two men have been arrested and face charges “including burglary, criminal possession of forgery devices, and larceny,” reports the New York Times, for installing devices in card slots of 11 ATMs at four different Chase locations around Union Square. The men, Nikolai Ivanov, 31, and Dimitar Stamatov, 28, live in Quebec (they are from Bulgaria) and tried their skimming trick twice — in January for five days, and then again in May, when Iordan Ivanov, Nikolai’s brother, helped. Nikolai and Stamatov, who also face charges of identity theft, were arrested in May while trying to remove the skimming device they’d installed, which just goes to yet again prove that returning to the scene of the crime never pays (for criminals, that is).
The skimming device, which according to the indictment was a “green plastic lip” that fit over the slot where you dip your card, works by capturing customer numbers; hidden cameras also record PINs. The January round led to $264,000 of fraud. In May there was another $20,000 stolen. The men withdrew money and also made purchases in Arizona, Illinois, and Canada; much of the money was also Western Union-ed to Bulgaria.
Iordan Ivanov has not been arrested. He may be in Canada.
If you did use Union Square area Chases in January or May, you might want to check your bank statements just to be safe — though you’d probably have noticed losing thousands of dollars. You will be reimbursed for your losses.
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