Card skimmer’s sentencing raises security reminder

Two men have recently been sentenced for their role in an ATM skimming operation in D’Iberville, and you must continue to be aware of the potential dangers of card skimmers.

26-year-old Taise Braganca Moscon, an illegal alien from Brazil, and 38-year-old Rodrigo D. Ferrareze, of Delray Beach, Florida were sentenced after the ATM on Automall Parkway was found to have been tampered with back in December 2017. Moscon will spend 13 months in prison, and Ferrareze will spend 10 months behind bars.

Officials stated that the privacy shield on the ATM was cut off, and that a camera was placed above the pin-pad so that the offenders could observe customers entering their PIN numbers. Moscon and Ferrareze, along with a third suspect, were eventually stopped in a vehicle and a search was conducted. Inside of the vehicle was everything one would need to conduct such an operation.

“A search of the Lincoln Navigator resulted in the finding of access device equipment, to include but not limited to, glue, black electrical and double-sided tape and box cutters, credit cards in alias names, a card with sandpaper attached to the card, and other credit cards, gift cards, and a micro SD card.” – U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst

With card skimmers discovered in Brookhaven and Madison in the past few months, John O’Hara with the Better Business Bureau urged consumers to be cautious.

“It’s a device that fits right over the slot that your card goes in. What I always do when I go to a gas pump or an ATM, I give that a good little tug and it will either come off or you’ll notice that something is not quite right,” O’Hara explained.  “What the skimmer does is that as you put your card in there, it will read your pin, card number, name and expiration date, and people use it to buy things with your card. A lot of times, people are sitting not far off with a laptop downloading the information.”

Card skimmers can appear at gas stations, on ATMs at banks or stores, so it’s important to check everywhere you go.

As card security increases, criminals’ methods are evolving up as well. O’Hara says that while skimmers may not work with a chip card, a new device called a “shimmer” does. Shimmers also fit into the card reader and are used to combat the chip inside of cards.

“You should notice when you put your card in that you’ll have to push it,” O’Hara said. “It won’t just go straight in, so if you’re having trouble putting the card in right away, back out and look at the card reader. If you’re still not sure, contact someone at the bank or gas station and let them look at it because they are harder to detect.”

O’Hara tells consumers to regularly check their bank statements to look for charges that are not their own. If you notice fraudulent charges or feel that your information is at risk, notify your bank and cancel your cards.