Student masterminds elaborate ATM skimming plot, steals $60K before being caught red-handed
The Brazilian-born French international student has been charged with a record 61 offenses; he withdrew money from 60 Brisbane ATMs before being caught red-handed
An international student in Australia was arrested for allegedly orchestrating an elaborate ATM scam, and was dramatically caught red handed after weeks of covert surveillance and tracking.
CCTV footage shows officers nabbing Douglas Da Silva, who was allegedly using a stolen bank card to withdraw cash at an ATM in Brisbane. According to authorities, the 31-year-old was able to pull off an elaborate skimming technique which the state of Queensland has never seen before.
The Brazillian-born French man has been charged with around 61 offenses something which officers say is a first for the state.
Detective Senior Constable Sarah Boniface said the scammer used an "internal" skimming device which was hidden inside the card reader.
"The deep insert skimmer actually goes into that slot where you put your card and you won’t see anything visually. It’s a lot more technical and a lot harder to do," she said, as reported by 9News.
Police from the state’s Financial and Cyber Crime Group believe that cameras had been installed in the targeted ATMs in order to record pin numbers.
The student was accused of tampering around with three ATMs all across Brisbane before being able to code the stolen data on blank gift cards.
He then used them to withdraw $60,000 in cash from 40 other ATMs. According to the detectives who were investigating the case, this was a highly sophisticated and skilled operation. The accused has been known to install the devices on the machines in 40 seconds.
Constable Boniface shared that the man had arrived in Australia in January and had got to work within a matter of weeks. "Everything indicates he was working alone, which probably is unusual for this kind of offense," she shared.
Upon raiding his home, the police discovered around $22,100 in cash, five ATM deep skimming devices, two false ATM ceiling panels with cameras as well as blank iTunes cards and gift cards. Da Silva Rangel's case has been adjourned till October 3.