NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) - At least seven people have been arrested for using stolen debit card information at Nashville-area ATMs.
On Monday, fraud detectives received a tip that a 22-year-old and 30-year-old from Brazil were illegally withdrawing thousands of dollars from First Bank's ATM on West End.
Alisson Oliveira and Dario Miranda were ultimately both taken into custody and charged with criminal simulation and theft of property.
They are each being held in lieu of $150,000 bonds.
The next day, police said they observed Evengii Zubkov, 33, making withdrawals at the Regions Bank ATM at 2111 Abbott Martin Road while his passenger, Ian Zubkov, 18, made withdrawals inside the bank.
Police stopped the vehicle a short time later, and both men, who are from Russia, were taken into custody and charged with criminal simulation and identity theft.
According to a release, 204 encoded debit cards and $22,899 in cash was seized from the car.
Evengii Zubkov is being held in lieu of a $160,000 bond. Ian Zubkov remains jailed on $150,000 bond.
On Tuesday, Gevorg Sukiasyan, 38, and Avetis Greyan, also from Russia, were also observed at the same Regions ATM making multiple withdrawals.
Police said when they drove out of the bank parking lot, fraud detectives conducted a traffic stop.
Nearly 200 encoded cards and $3,602 was seized from the car.
Both are charged with criminal simulation and identify theft and they are each being held in lieu of a $150,000 bond.
Also on Tuesday, detectives conducting surveillance at nearby First Bank's ATM at 2121 Abbott Martin Road, noticed Albert Luca walk up to the machine where he attempted to use a card that was denied.
The 22-year-old from Brazil then walked to a nearby Kroger where police said he attempted to use two different cards at an ATM inside the store. Both were declined.
Luca was also taken into custody and is charged with criminal simulation. Police said they found five gift cards in his possession. He has since been released on a $10,000 bond.
Metro police fraud detectives believe Russians and Brazilians are operating a card skimmer ring. They are not sure if they are working together, but nevertheless, they are leaving behind victim after victim.
Jessica May said she will think twice the next time she picks up a gas pump.
The Murfreesboro woman was visiting her mother in Dickson Monday and stopped by a Speedway gas station to get fill up.
"I used my card there to get gas that night and last time I had used my card," May said.
Then she got an alert from Regions Bank that there were suspicious charges to her account.
"By the time I had called them yesterday morning at 7 a.m. my account was completely wiped out, gone," May said.
Her account was in the red.
"Negative, $341, they had overdrawn that much money," she said.
May said there were 12 different $80 transactions at Regions ATMs in Bellevue, Green Hills, and 100 Oaks Mall.
"Sick, just sick," May said. "You work really hard for your money, you work all the time. Nauseated, I'm just angry."
Police believe a skimmer had been put on a pump at that Dickson gas station.
Looking back May said there was a red flag, the pump number asked her to press 1 for credit or 2 for debit.
"I even commented that night, that's odd I've never seen that before," the fraud victim said. "It was a brand-new Speedway gas station, brand new, brand new pumps."
Metro police staked out several ATMs and saw the suspects use card after card.
They confiscated nearly $39,000 and nearly 500 encoded cards.
"There is a ring in town that we call it draining an ATM, they are pulling up there, they're sticking a card in there that has stolen credit card information encoded onto it and they are withdrawing the maximum amount," Metro Police Fraud Detective Sgt. Michael Warren said.
Police are calling these suspects the modern-day Bonnie and Clyde.
"I call it the new age bank robbery, why go in and stick a gun in somebody's face when you can just rob it out of the box outside," Warren said.
Police say the suspects are all either Russia or Brazil, and they are making their own skimming devices, so they don't have to buy them off the internet.
"This is seven that we've arrested this week, that's just a dent," Warren said. "We know Mt. Juliet got three more, and we know a couple of other counties. So, I would say within the past seven days probably 15 people from this. I'm going to loosely call it a ring, because I don't know if the Brazilians are working with the Russians."
In most cases banks are working with the victims and their money will be returned.
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