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Romanian nationals accused of placing credit card skimmers at local Sam's Clubs

Romanian nationals accused of placing credit card skimmers at local Sam's Clubs
Romanian nationals accused of placing credit card skimmers at local Sam's Clubs 02:50

FRAZER TOWNSHIP Pa. (KDKA) - Two Romanian nationals were arrested in a fraud scheme that stole debit and credit card data from several Sam's Club stores in the area.

Police say the two suspects added a skimming device to one of the card readers in the self-checkout aisle at the Sam's Club in Frazer Township. It was installed in seconds and hard to spot.

Using surveillance images along with license plate readers throughout Allegheny County, police tracked the pair down and arrested them. 

Police executed a search warrant at their Ross Township hotel room and found other electronic devices, passports and fake IDs.

"What we know now is they would use the information themselves and we also know they could make a lot of money selling credit card information on the dark web," said Frazer Township Police Chief Terry Kuhns.

The FBI said skimming devices capture data or record cardholders' PINs so they can use the data to create fake debit or credit cards and then steal from the victims' accounts. 

Consumers and financial institutions lose an estimated $1 billion from skimming each year, the FBI said.

Kuhns said the two suspects came to the area two weeks ago after entering the country from Vancouver, Canada. Ohio Township, Monroeville and Butler Township have also filed charges of access fraud against the two suspects. The pair is in the Allegheny County jail on $25,000 bond. 

West Mifflin police are also warning people to check their bank accounts, saying the devices were possibly placed at the self-checkout lines at the Sam's Club and Target in West Mifflin, as well as the self-pay tables at Applebee's. 

Anyone who may have used a credit card at those locations between May 14 and 15 is asked to check their accounts to make sure they haven't been compromised. If you find something suspicious, police said to contact your bank and call their department to file a report.

West Mifflin police said their investigation is still active. 

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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