CLINTON, MS (WLBT) - Three men who were arrested in Tennessee are connected to a global skimming ring with ties to the Clinton area.
Clinton police say the three men were found after a traffic stop in Tennessee with eight credit and debit card skimming devices, 159 gift cards, computer equipment and large amounts of money.
Sregrant Nick Sprowles of the Clinton Police Department said they were alerted by employees of the Regions Bank to cloned cards that they found in their ATM machines. The machines then lock the cards in place and also have security protocols in place to sniff out cards that may be trying to copy other people’s ATM information.
“When a card holder uses their card, the magnetic strip of course has all your digital data. The skimmer is going to pull that data,“ said Sprowles. “Then they’ll take the data from the skimming device to probably a laptop computer, then they’ll use another skimming device, a rein-coder, and take a blank gift card or whatever has a magnetic strip on it and put that information on that blank playing card.”
One of the arrested, George Zica, was pictured at a Clinton Regions ATM. Gift cards that had been re-encoded with credit card information on them were confiscated.
“We’re able to pick them up and scan them, get the identifying information off of them, get in touch with the victim,” said Sprowles.
Throughout the holiday season, Clinton police detectives are inspecting ATM machines and gas pumps to ensure that consumers are protected.
“During the holidays, you‘re going to see an influx in this type of behavior, because people are more frivolous and spending more money of course,” said Sprowles. “But it’s something you want to be alert all year round.”
The Clinton Police Department also say that the victims of the copied cards were not of the Clinton area, but there have been numerous cloned cards that have been used in the metro area, totaling up to $13,000.
Clinton police are urging people to not use ATMs or gas pumps if the devices are acting strange with your card.