CINCINNATI – A federal grand jury indicted two men from Chicago on Wednesday for placing electronic devices on an ATM in Springdale in order to steal account information from bank customers.
The indictment of Dimitar Angelov, 28, and Dimitar Kolev, 26, both of Chicago, was announced Wednesday by Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Mark Porter, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service and Springdale Police Chief Michael Mathis.
According to court documents, Springdale police officers responded to a credit union on Sept. 28 after receiving a report that two individuals had been sitting in a car parked in an adjacent lot.
The subjects were seen individually walking to the ATM and returning to the vehicle. Springdale officers later approached the men and found evidence of possible credit card fraud, according to the the U.S. Attorney's office.
Upon further investigation, law enforcement officials say they discovered a device known as a “skimmer” and a pinhole camera attached to the ATM.
A "skimmer" is a small electronic device mounted to the front of an ATM card slot that reads the bank card number and transmits it to the criminals sitting in a nearby car. At the same time, a wireless camera is disguised to look like a leaflet holder and is mounted in a position to view ATM PIN entries, according to an article on Snopes.com .
The articles indicates that the thieves copy the cards and use the PIN numbers to withdraw money from many accounts in a short time directly from the bank ATM.
Springdale police have not indicated if anyone's account information was compromised or had their money stolen.
- Inspect the ATM, gas pump, or credit card reader before using it. Be suspicious if you see anything loose, crooked, or damaged or if you notice scratches or adhesive/tape residue.
- When entering your PIN, block the keypad with your other hand to prevent possible hidden cameras from recording your number.
- If possible, use an ATM at an inside location (less access for criminals to install skimmers).
- Be careful of ATMs in tourist areas, they are a popular target of skimmers.
- If your card isn’t returned after the transaction or after hitting “cancel,” immediately contact the financial institution that issued the card.
Angelov and Kolev, who've been in jail since their arrest, were indicted by a grand jury on Oct. 16. Both men pleaded not guilty on Wednesday.
The one-count indictment charges both men with fraud in connection with access devices, a crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
The suspects are being held without bond pending trial. The date of the trial has not been determined.