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2 foreign men arrested for stealing card data for ATM fraud

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Card data was stolen from ATMs and used to withdraw millions of baht in Hua Hin and Bangkok. (via El Paso Times)

A Romanian man and a Malaysian man have been arrested in Hua Hin for allegedly skimming data from hundreds of credit cards and using the card information to withdraw cash from ATMs in the Bangkok and Hua Hin area.

The two men, aged 39 and 33 respectively, were arrested by investigators from the Immigration Bureau at a hotel in the beach resort town in Prachuap Khiri Khan province. They were in possession of hundreds of fake electronic cards they used to withdraw money from ATMs as well as mobile phones and 6 bank books.

Kasikorn Bank has been working alongside police after discovering money withdrawn from the accounts of many people. An investigation was opened and found that, all around Bangkok and Hua Hin, skimming devices have been installed on ATMs.

These devices are easily concealed over the normal card slot of an ATM but as the card slides into the machine, it can capture all the important data such as the card number, cardholder name, expiration date, and PIN number. Having collected the data, the men could then create hundred the fake cards imprinted with the real ATM card data that would function just like a normal card when used at a teller machine.

The two men were alleged to have sourced the skimmers from England, and the card creating devices from China and had been using them to pull this scam in the area for around 3 months already. Police said that the two suspects confessed to the fraud and explained that they would usually install skimmers on various ATMs in the morning and then later go back in the evening to withdraw cash using the data pulled from the real cards.

Early investigations have already uncovered millions of baht of losses that the 2 men were able to withdraw from hundreds of accounts. They’ve been charged with colluding to make and use fake electronic cards. The Malaysian man also faces additional charges of entering Thailand illegally.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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