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Europol has hunted down and arrested the alleged key members of a criminal ring dedicated to ATM skimming.
On Thursday, the international law enforcement agency said that as part of a joint law enforcement push dubbed “Operation Neptune,” four Bulgarian citizens were arrested on 30 November.
Involving the Italian Carabinieri, the Bulgarian General Directorate of Combating Organised Crime, the National Police of Czech Republic, and Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), Neptune focused on honing in on the leaders of an ATM skimming ring that spread beyond Europe.
According to Europol, the alleged leaders of the group not only tampered with ATMs in central European cities to skim the card details of residents and tourists alike, but also used this information to produce fake credit cards to cash out money from ATMs in countries outside of the bloc including Belize, Indonesia, and Jamaica.
“Dozens” of ATMs have been identified as been tampered with through the ring, according to law enforcement, which includes through the use of small, barely noticeable cameras and magnetic strip readers that steal the information necessary to create counterfeit cards.
In addition, over 1,000 fake credit cards were seized and evidence related to fraudulent international transactions reaching over €50,000 was discovered during the operation.
The operation has been in motion since late 2015.