3 arrested in Darien for ATM scam
Law enforcement officials arrested three women on larceny charges at the People's United Bank in Goodwives Shopping Center Thursday morning. The arrests are part of an ongoing identity theft investigation, led by the Greenwich Police Department and the Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force, according to Greenwich Police Lt. Kraig Gray.
Sabrina F. Matche, 22, and Nadia Paisci, 48, both of Middle Village, N.Y., and Laura Stiuca, 31, of Maspeth, N.Y., were all charged with the following crimes: third-degree larceny; 12 counts of third-degree identity theft; fraudulent use of and ATM; 12 counts of second-degree forgery; felony provision of credit card theft; 12 counts of unlawful possession of an access device; receiving goods by use of illegal credit card; 12 counts of unlawful production/completion of a credit card; and felony provision of illegal use of a credit card.
The women are being held at the Greenwich Police Department in lieu of a $250,000.
The Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force -- which consists of officers from the Connecticut State Police, the Greenwich Police Department, Hartford Police Department, Manchester Police Department, New Haven Police Department, Shelton Police Department, U.S. Postal Inspectors and the U.S. State Department -- has been investigating a series of ATM "skimming" incidents in Greenwich, Darien and Stamford over the past several weeks, according to Gray.
"ATM skimming involves the unauthorized placement of electronic devices which are placed on or near the ATM machine. The device then captures card information and the PIN number of the card. The device is removed and the information is used to access the customer accounts to make fraudulent transactions," Greenwich Police said in a statement. "At the ATMs, they may install a camera that then will pick up the PIN for the card that they've stolen the numbers for," Gray said.
"If anybody's using an ATM and they find it looks as if it's modified in any way, shape or form, they should not use that ATM, and should notify the bank or gas station where it's located," he said.
"In some of the schemes, they have changed the box attached to the ATM that the slips are in, and on the bottom of it, there's a little pinhole with a little camera and it watches you as you type in the PIN," he said.
"The sophistication level of the persons committing this type of crime right now is on the rise, so it's a little more difficult to determine and ATM that may have been compromised," Gray said. "When you do use an ATM, be vigilant and realize that there's a possibility that a fraudulent electronic device might be attached to it."
Consumers should also cover their fingers as they type in their PIN, and should notify the police if they see "sketchy characters" hanging around.