With the increasing cases and loss of money because of ATM Card Fraud, the Joint Anti-Bank Robbery Action Committee (JABRAC) has strengthen its focus in locating ATM Fraud syndicates who are responsible for putting skimming devices to an automated teller machine.
Skimming devices are placed secretly in ATMs to copy the bank account data from inserted ATM cards and loot the owner’s bank account.
Recently, elements of the PNP Anti-Cyber Crime Group and Police Regional Office 3 (PRO3), arrested two (2) Bulgarian Nationals at the BDO ATM booth inside SM City Pampanga (on May 15, 2014) after they were caught in the act of installing ATM skimming devices on the ATM pin pads of the said bank.
Arrested were Mladenov Emil Stoyanov and Kanev Lyuben Georgiev and confiscated from them were, three (3) data port cable matching the ATM card skimmer; one (1) small flat screw driver used in picking ATM cards; and one (1) laptop allegedly with software that decodes ATM accounts. The PNP-Anti Cyber Crime Group found that certain software for decoding ATM cards was installed in the laptop of the suspects.
Stoyanov and Georgiev are now accused for violation of RA 8484 or the “Access Devices Regulation Act Of 1998”. Judge Divina Luz P Aquino-Simbulan of RTC, B R. 41 also recommended the bail of Php 1.5 million each accused who are presently detained at Pampanga Provincial Jail.
Suspects are possible members of an international ATM skimming ring; this is manifested by a similar incident that transpired in Angeles City of February 7, 2014 that resulted in the arrest of a Romanian national.
While the PNP and JABRAC continue to search for other related syndicates, bank owners are also advised to implement maximum installation of CCTV cameras near their ATM booths. Also, the designation of civilian guard will be a great help to watch and secure their respective ATMs.
JABRAC is a joint effort of the government and private sector to fight bank-related crimes where the Chief, PNP serves as its Chairman. (PNP-PIO)