Categories: SecurityWorkspace

Cyber Crook Pleads Guilty To £3m Card Skimming Scam

A fraudster who ran a £3 million card skimming scam has pleaded guilty and could now face jail, a court heard yesterday.

Leonid Rotaru remains in custody after he was caught by police collecting a card reader from an ATM at a Tesco in Minehead, Somerset’s Taunton Crown Court heard. He obtained around 9,000 PIN numbers, worth £3 million, police estimated.

Rotaru’s actions were reported to the police by members of the public who spotted the card skimming device.

Card skimming crook

“By irony or total coincidence the guy was coming back, we think, to remove the device,” said Barry Douglas, from Avon and Somerset Police’s Economic Crime Unit.

“The PC had already seen the CCTV of him fitting it earlier in the day, recognised the person and he was arrested.”

After his arrest a computer was seized from his house, indicating Rotaru was involved in an unusually sophisticated illicit campaign.

“This is usually very organised, you can tell from the quality of the equipment that was attached to the ATM, you can tell from the amount of detail that was found on the computer,” Douglas added, according to reports.

“This was well-organised, well-orchestrated and with good criminal connections.”

Rotaru was already on the run from another police force over similar offences and is thought to be a member of a criminal gang. No sentencing date has been confirmed.

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Thomas Brewster

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe's Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

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