Police in Toronto have busted a sophisticated ATM skimming ring that used a network of 'debit card laboratories' to defraud bank customers of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The swoop on the Toronto crime ring followed a six-week surveillance operation and resulted in the arrest of eight local people. The gang used portable card skimmers to capture customer data at the cash machine for later download and transfer to counterfeit cards.
The police raid on "two sophisticated labs" netted $120,000 cash and led to the arrest of eight suspects. Computers, skimmers, card−readers, moulding machines, embossers, tippers, counterfeit cards, cameras, overlays and valances, tools and two−way communications devices were also seized.
Theft and counterfeit payment cards have been a growing problem for the Canadian banking industry, which is making a gradual transition to chip-based technology. Police say Over $100 million was lost to this type of activity in 2007, which involved 159,000 card holders.