Three brothers were convicted in a London court for their parts in a fraud operation that revolved around stealing credit and debit card numbers and making fake cards to use them with. Ahmed Charmaga received 4 and a half years in prison, while his brothers Mahmoud and Mohammed received 5 and 2 and a half years respectively. All three pled guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud.
Authorities say the three brothers used skimmers to steal bank card and credit card numbers from ATMs. Skimmers are small pieces of equipment that attach to the front of an ATM and record the information on a card’s magnetic stripe. Police seized several skimmers from the brothers’ office as well as equipment used to make fake cards, fake ATM fronts, keypads, and 600 ready to use fake cards. Another 3,400 card details were found on computers and documents in the office.
The operation netted the Charmaga’s nearly $1 million in stolen funds. They used the fake cards to make large cash withdrawals, go on shopping sprees, and even pay for gas. Credit card fraud jumped 18% last year and the rising fraud rate has led many banks to place stickers on their ATMs warning customers to check and see if an ATM looks like it’s been tampered with and to report anything suspicious.