Riverside police arrested two men this week suspected of installing a “skimming” device at an ATM in an attempt to collect credit card information that could then be used to raid the victims’ accounts, police said. authorities.
On Wednesday afternoon, officers with the Riverside Police Department observed the men driving while pointing what appeared to be “a makeshift antenna” at a Bank of America ATM at 10297 Magnolia Ave.
Officers contacted the men and searched their vehicle – finding recovery devices that capture card data and PINs, tools to install these devices into ATMs, and access cards to clone fraudulent copies of cards banks, authorities said.
The men may also be linked to two other card skimming fraud investigations, including one in which more than $10,000 in total was taken from two victims’ bank accounts, according to Riverside police spokesperson l Officer Ryan Railsback.
The suspects, identified as Nicolae Masu, 29; and George Mirica, 26, both of Santa Ana, were arrested on suspicion of identity theft, transfer of stolen identity information and conspiracy. They were booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center and released on $10,000 bail each.
“Suspects routinely target ATM cards that do not contain security chips,” said Riverside Det. Brian Money, who investigates property crimes, said in a statement.
These could include state-issued cards for unemployment insurance or food assistance programs, he added.
Riverside police advise residents to check ATMs for any unusual loose parts or attachments before using them. They also advise covering the keypad on both sides when in use and changing a card’s PIN regularly to deter fraud.
The investigation into Masu and Mirica is ongoing, according to Railsback. Anyone with information can contact Det. Michael Gomez at (951) 353-7115 or Det. Javier Cabrera at (951) 353-7116. Information may also be provided anonymously by emailing RPDTips@riversideca.gov.
Los Angeles Times