Home Searched, 10 Arrested In Credit Card Skimming Probe

LA MIRADA (CBSLA.com) — Authorities arrested 10 people Tuesday in morning raids conducted around the Southland as part of a years-long federal identity theft and credit card fraud investigation.

FBI agents and other law enforcement officials served a warrant around 6 a.m. at a home in the 13800 block of Mansa Drive in La Mirada, according to the FBI’s Laura Eimiller. Additional searches were carried out in La Habra, Whittier and Norwalk.

Two suspects remained at large after 10 others were arrested, Eimiller said.

While the warrants were served in connection with an indictment expected to be unsealed Tuesday afternoon, Eimiller said the raids were focused on credit card skimming operations.

“You have individuals sometimes at commercial locations who will steal the identity of individuals by taking their credit card numbers and identity,” Eimiller said. “They will then replicate that card and the number and then proceed to use it at multiple other locations.”

The Huntington Beach Police Department took part in the investigation along with the FBI and DEA, Eimiller said.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office has meanwhile issued a warning after getting 65 credit card skimming cases since May 5.

Officials say skimming can happen almost anywhere — but the most popular spots are ATMs and gas stations. They say thieves can get access to the machines with stolen keys and place the skimmers inside. Many have moved on to using Bluetooth technology to transmit information from the pump to a laptop hidden in a car nearby.

Investigators warn to look out for a pinhole camera with a transmitter that can be placed right above the keypad. They suggest using your opposite hand to cover the keypad as you enter your PIN and regularly monitoring your bank account online.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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