Romanian gang said to be behind skimmers in Midlands, 1 arrested

Updated: Jun. 21, 2017 at 5:45 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A man is being hailed a hero after discovering a skimming device on a Midlands ATM Saturday.

The Richland County Sheriff's Department says this was one of three local ATM's targeted this weekend.

Sheriff Leon Lott says these skimming crimes are mostly being committed by a Romanian crime ring that is coming over to the U.S. specifically trained to steal your credit card information.

The good thing is there are ways you can protect yourself.

Sheriff Leon Lott says "by just simply grabbing a hold of it and pulling," you can determine if the ATM you are using has a skimming device. These are placed on various ATM's to steal your credit card information.

"This past Sunday was Father's Day, so people were using ATM machines like crazy on Saturday to go out and buy Father's Day presents,"  Lott said.

It is a growing crime in the Midlands, mostly committed by a Romanian crime ring according to the Richland County Sheriff.

"They teach them how to put these skimmers on ATM machines, and they travel across the United States and that's what they do. They're stealing thousands of dollars of our money and they're living off of it and having a good time," Lott said.

Three skimming devices were found at ATM's here in the Midlands just this weekend.

Chris Mayers discovered one of them before it was too late.

"Wow, I'm glad I didn't put my card in a there first," Mayers said. "The little bit of money I do have, I'm glad I didn't put my card in there first."

Having heard Sheriff Lott's tips before, Mayers decided to double check and is now being hailed a hero.

"We prevented so many victims this weekend from being victimized and having their money stolen," Lott said.

"Take that second to check because it could save a lot of people, even yourself," says Mayers.

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