Skimming ring busted by Tempe police

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by Natalie Rivers

azfamily.com

Posted on August 1, 2011 at 6:10 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 1 at 6:22 PM

TEMPE, Ariz. - Tempe police have busted a sophisticated ATM skimming ring that's targeted hundreds of people all across the country.

It's a scam that has cost people hundreds of thousands of dollars.

That amount is just here in the Phoenix-metro. The Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said the total take is probably in the neighborhood of $2 to $3 million dollars.

Montgomery said the suspect were sending a portion of the proceeds back to Bulgaria, giving the ring an international connection.

What concerns the Maricopa County Attorney's office is the $200,000 to $300,300 dollars stolen from people in the Phoenix-metro.

The skimming ring was dubbed Operation Poison Ivy by Tempe police where the thieves first struck.

A victim's card would pass through a skimming device on the front of the ATM and personal information was transmitted to a remote location where fake credit cards were made.

In this process the six suspects in custody, emptied several hundreds of thousands of dollars from various ATMs around the Valley.

Consumers should look out for any device that might be on an ATM machine over the area where you insert your card.

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