Proof that even paying for your gas at the pump can put you in financial danger, 12 people are accused of stealing more than $300,000 after installing skimmers at pay-at-the-pump gas terminals and ATMs.
After a monthlong sting that began in early January, Canadian police raided Toronto-area homes and arrested the 12 suspects, who range in age from 22 to 53. In the process of executing their eight search warrants, officers seized $40,000 in Canadian currency, three cars, "numerous fraudulent credit cards" and the instruments to clone them, the Halton Regional Police Service said in a Feb. 3 press release.
All of the suspects were charged with fraud over $5,000, conspiracy to commit an indictable offense and participation in a criminal organization; two of them also were charged with possession of instruments for use in forging credit cards and possession of stolen credit card data.
Most of the skimming gang's members have ties to Eastern Europe, Bank Info Security said, which fits a pattern; several high-profile ATM skimming gangs, including one that hit point-of-sale terminals at Subway restaurants and made off with the credit card data of more than 80,000 customers, have been composed of members from Romania, Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.