Last week, Europol, together with French and Italian police, arrested nine individuals in France responsible for ATM skimming operations across the two countries.

Europol reports that the group utilized sophisticated ATM skimming devices that allowed the criminal group to record credit card details. These details would then be used to create fake cards which other members of the group would utilize in Asia and the US to make withdrawals from the victim’s bank account.

Europol officers together with the French Gendarmerie of Pau and the Investigative Unit of the Italian State Police of Imperia conducted several house searches on May 18, 2016, which resulted in the arrest of nine individuals of French and Italian nationality.

Officers discovered equipment at their homes used to manufacture the ATM skimming devices, such as micro camera bars, card readers, magnetic strip readers and writers, computers, phones and flash drives. Additionally, police officers also seized two handguns, five vehicles, and thousands of plastic cards, which they suspect the group used to manufacture fake cards.

Franco-Italian group caused damages of half of million Euros

Authorities say the group mainly operated in France and managed to cause damages of around half of million Euros.

Europol noted that the group would regularly store stolen credit card credentials on cloud servers, so any member of the group could easily reach it.

A month earlier, Europol dismantled another group of ATM skimmers, together with the Italian Carabinieri. The two law enforcement agencies arrested sixteen Romanian nationals that operated a credit card skimming operation in countries such as Italy, Denmark, and the UK.

“To reduce the risk of becoming a victim of this type of electronic crime, check your banking transactions regularly and immediately inform your bank of anything suspicious, which could also include a transaction not being debited from your account after you have used your card,” Europol recommends.

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