Same Calgary bank hit twice by card skimming fraudsters

CALGARY — Two separate groups of fraudsters have targeted a TD Canada Trust bank ATM by using high-tech skimming equipment, police said Monday.

CALGARY — Two separate groups of fraudsters have targeted a TD Canada Trust bank ATM by using high-tech skimming equipment, police said Monday.

The first incident was uncovered Saturday and the second, on the same machine, was found Monday.

Calgary police spokesman Kevin Brookwell said it’s alleged the accused in the first case first spent three days in Edmonton robbing banks of customer information, then hit Calgary.

Michael Joseph Stewart, 29, of Toronto, and Hamilton Hillary Savoury, 45, of Scarborough, Ont., are to appear in court on Wednesday.

The pair are charged with two counts of possession of fraudulent credit card data and two counts of possession of a device for forging or falsifying credit cards.

Brookwell said a customer discovered a skimming device on Saturday while doing bank transactions.

Police were called and they discovered a microchip machine installed at the ATM with double-sided tape and a pinhole camera investigators believe recorded account passwords as customers entered them on the keypad.

“These are high-tech stuff,” said Brookwell, holding two devices used to harvest bank and credit card information.

On Monday, the same citizen made a similar discovery on the same machine and reported it to police.

Brookwell said investigators don’t think the two groups are related and perpetrators of the second incident are at large.

The information gathered from the devices is downloaded to a laptop and criminals use them for making fraudulent bank cards and credit cards.

Robert Fodor, vice-president of fraud management with Interac Association, said banks lose a huge amount of cash annually as a result of skimming.

In 2009, the industry lost $142 million, and that figure has been climbing as the number of incidents escalates.