London card cloning gang charged with conspiracy to defraud

London card cloning gang charged with conspiracy to defraud

Four men and two women have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud after they stole more than £8000 from UK bank customers in an ATM card skimming scam, according to local press reports.

According to the London Evening Standard, the gang - who are all Romanian - attached micro scanners and pin-hole cameras to ATM units in London. They also fitted card skimming devices to the doors of indoor ATM lobbies and attached pin-hole cameras above the cash machines to record customers entering PINs.

City of London police arrested the gang in July this year when they stopped and searched two men who had followed a customer into HSBC's St Paul's branch. The pair were found with a card reading device. Two female gang members were found in a vehicle nearby which contained video equipment and a monitor. Plastic tubes with pin-hole cameras and transmitters were found on two other men.

The fraudsters had already stolen £8,200 using the scam. Police raiding their flat in East London found 108 forged payment cards and PIN numbers which could have given them access to another £130,000. Police also found a laptop where stolen card details were stored.

This is the first time a card skimming case involving the use of pin-hole cameras has come to court in Britain. The gang are due to be sentenced at London's Southwark Crown Court today.

Separately, a Malaysian man convicted of a similar ATM card skimming scam has been sentenced to three years in gaol.

Kok Meng Ng, 29, fleeced A$623,426 from 315 Australian bank customers by attaching skimming devices and pin-hole cameras to ATMs.

He then used counterfeit cards to withdraw money from accounts at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, St George and Westpac.

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