Two arrested in alleged ATM skimming scheme
CAMARILLO, Calif. – Ventura County Sheriff's Deputies arrested two Anaheim residents for Conspiracy to Commit a Crime, Fraudulent Use of a Card Scanning Device, and Attempted Identity Theft on Wednesday.
According to Deputies in Camarillo, they saw two people acting in a way consistent with installing ATM skimming devices.
Deputies contacted the two people and obtained their consent to search their vehicle.
Inside, they found manufactured ATM faceplates, pin-hole cameras, 'deep insert' credit card skimmers, and tools used to install the devices detail Ventura County Sheriff's Deputies.
The 23-year-old and 29-year old were both arrested and booked at the Pre-Trail Detention Facility for violations of California Penal Codes 182(a)(1)-Conspiracy To Commit a Crime, 502.6(a)-Fraudulent Use of a Card Scanning Device, and 664/530.5(a)-Attempted-Identity Theft.
Due to the nature of the crimes, a bail increase was asked and granted by the courts for both people.
Ventura County Sheriff's detail that they had been tracking a notable increase in identity theft of this nature over the past six months, especially targeting recipients of California Department of Social Services CalFresh and CalWORKS.
Deputies explain that both programs rely on Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards to dispense benefits and those cards lack security features found on other debit cards.
Skimming devices, such as the ones found in this case, can be installed on ATMs or Point of Sale machines and collect card information that is then 'cloned' or transferred onto another card Sheriffs explain.
According to Ventura County Sheriffs, EBT theft cost California taxpayers over $60 million in losses in 2022.
Ventura Sheriffs recommend you cover the pin pad while punching in your code and inspecting ATM and Point of Sale Machines for any signs of tampering.
If you do find something suspicious, report your suspicions to Ventura County Sheriff's Dispatch at 805-654-9511.