Two Romanian men arrested in Seattle last week, are believed to have been prime players in an international crime ring involving ATM skimming, KOMO-TV reports.
Ismail Sali and Eugen Tirca reportedly swiped "hundreds of thousands of dollars" using skimming techniques. Skimming involves attaching a device and a hidden camera aimed at a keypad onto an ATM. Thieves are able to synchronize data from both devices to match user PINs to bank card data. They then forge new cards without identity verification - typically gift cards - using the PINs to drain the victim's bank account. U.S. Attorney General Jenny Durkan - a recent skimming victim herself - believes apprehending the two men is a step toward bringing down the ring. "We believe that with this most recent arrest, we have located and dismantled the nerve center of one of the most prolific rings, which used illegal immigrants from Romania to commit the frauds," she said, as quoted by the Seattle Times. Durkan added that skimming is a "$1 billion-a-year crime" and six skimmers, including the Romanians, have been arrested over the past week in the Northwest region alone.