BOSSIER PARISH (KSLA) - A total of four arrests have been made over the last four days, three of those teenagers, involving credit and debit card skimmers.
On Sunday, March 10, two 17-year-old teens were arrested after Bossier Parish Sheriff Office deputies searched their car and found dozens of reincoded credit and debit cards behind a hidden panel of a car, according to a Facebook post.
The unnamed teens were each charged with racketeering and 62 counts of monetary instrument abuse; they are being housed the Ware Youth Center detention facility.
On March 7, 30-year-old Marcus Dinu and a 16-year-old male, both of Romania, were charged with 40 counts of bank fraud and 180 counts of attempted fraud each.
The pair were using an ATM in Bossier Parish to withdraw thousands of dollars in cash from victims in Texas, California, New York, and Michigan.
Detectives say there was a total of 220 attempted transactions at the ATM; 40 transactions were approved for a total of just over $8,000 dollars stolen.
Bossier City Police dispatchers used surveillance video to identify Dinu and the 17-year-old.
Dinu was booked into the Bossier Parish Security Facility, while the juvenile was transported to the Ware Youth Center detention facility. Bail is set at $1 million for each of the suspects.
Also in January, a 15-year-old was arrested on six counts of monetary instrument abuse in a similar case.
Dep. Brandon Masters, Bossier Sheriff’s Office crime prevention officer, suggests a few thoughts on how you can avoid becoming a victim:
Most Skimming will happen at a gas pump:
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Pay with cash
- If you going to use a credit/debit card, pay inside
- If paying outside, use a pump that is well-lit and closest in view to the cashier
- Also, if paying outside, use your credit card or the credit card option if paying with a debit card (without having to use a PIN).
Stay safe at an ATM:
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Shield your PIN
- Avoid stand-alone ATMs
Dep. Masters also advises that most thieves are becoming more sophisticated in their efforts, but encourages consumers to to physically examine the gas pump’s credit card system or the ATM.
Also, be sure to check credit and debit card accounts regularly and always report suspicious charges or activity.