Police in Tokyo say they believe a large group of Bulgarians are behind an organized scam that sees bank customers’ personal information stolen from the data on their ATM cards. Between October and December of last year, police found skimming devices, which scan ATM cards as they are inserted into the bank machines, installed in six different locations in and around the Tokyo area.
Five of the ATMs affected belonged to Shinsei Bank and were located in Tokyo, as well as Saitama and Chiba Prefectures, along with a sixth at a Tokyo-based Citibank. Investigators say the devices were inserted into the money slots and could read the numbers from cash or credit cards. In addition, small cameras were placed on the walls near the ATMs to record customers as they entered their personal identification numbers on the keypads.
Shinsei Bank has reported that the information from 130 of its customers was stolen, and over 6.4 million yen (approx. $70,000) was withdrawn from 30 of those accounts at ATM machines in Cambodia. Citibank says it not found any money stolen from this incident, but has seen similar skimming methods used in other countries, resulting the theft of nearly $65,000. The Tokyo police say they have collected the images of 10 Bulgarians, who they believe are involved in the crimes, from the ATM security cameras, adding that they are now trying to identify them in cooperation with immigration authorities.[via NHK]