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Somerset police nab card skimming mastermind

28 Nov 2012

Somerset Police racked up a big win against bank card skimmers, after the mastermind behind the theft of more than 9,000 cardholders' details pleaded guilty in court.

Somerset police confirmed to V3 that they had arrested man, but could not release any further details until after sentencing.

However, security firm Sophos identified the man as 32-year-old Romanian, Leonid Rotaru.

Sophos reported that when arrested police found skimmed data from roughly 9,000 bank cards.

Skimmers are typically installed to cover ATMs' card slots, stealing unwary users bank details by scanning any card as it is inserted.

The skimmer used by Rotaru in these cases reportedly also housed a small camera that recorded users' PINs as the entered them. This allowed the thief to clone victims' cards and empty their accounts.

The arrest follows on from a slew of other scams looking to steal UK residents' financial information.

Prior to the arrest London's Metropolitan Police and Serious organised Crimes Agency (Soca) arrested three men believed to have been responsible for a mass phishing campaign targeting online bank users.

The arrests come just before the creation of the Britain's new National Crime Agency (NCA) and National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU).

The new agencies are intended to combat crime across the UK and help combat the growing threat posed by cyber criminals.

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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