Thieves are using new technology to take money from families in multicounty skimming ring

Sheriff's Office warns of sophisticated skimming tech

Palatka,Fla. — Kathy Campbell lives in Putnam County and says she always checks for skimmers at gas pumps and ATMs.

“They say you can pull on the little doodad right here and if it’s loose, that means there could be a skimmer in there," she said.

Putnam County Sheriff Gator DeLoach said Monday that’s not necessarily the case anymore.

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According to investigators, deep insertion skimmers are a new trend among thieves.

The sheriff explained: “These are actually inserted deeply into the card reading mechanism and are very, very easy to conceal.”

He said it's how Plopsor and Elena Matei were allegedly able to steal nearly $150,000 from families in Duval, Putnam and Clay Counties.

In Putnam alone, the suspects allegedly stole  $46,000 from 291 compromised cards, according to DeLoach.

He also warned about pinhole cameras the suspects are accused of using.

“Allows them to view you putting your pin in and thereby giving them almost instant access to your financial information,” he described.

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The sheriff admitted the devices are difficult, but not impossible to spot.

“You do have the ability to look for glue or adhesive residue around the card reader itself. Look for anything that appears to be out of place," he added.

Campbell said she’ll be looking closer before she swipes her cards.

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Posted by Action News Jax on Monday, June 17, 2019