GARDAI have sourced CCTV footage of suspected bankcard skimmers in Limerick, who have taken hundreds of euro from unsuspecting victims over the past week.
The images of a number of individuals, who were wearing hoodies while the “sophisticated” skimming devices were installed, have been circulated to gardai around the country for identification.
Inspector Brendan McDonagh, of Roxboro Road garda station, which is leading the investigation, said the suspects - believed to be linked to an Eastern European criminal gang - have not yet been identified.
Insp McDonagh said while the installation of these devices in at least five locations around Limerick and the withdrawal of the cash may have occurred within just two days, it has taken a number of victims several days to come forward as they had not checked their accounts in some time.
In some instances, he said, cameras have been installed to record what PIN numbers customers are typing in, while others read the numbers once the bank card has been inserted.
He said it is “highly unlikely” that the suspects are resident locally, and are potentially moving around the country, staying in locations for a brief period.
To date, the money taken from accounts of Limerick holders has been used predominantly in the United States, as well as Sydney and Thailand.
One University of Limerick student told the Limerick Leader that she was lucky she only had €150 in her account, but when a €170 transaction for goods in New York didn’t go though, sums of €20, €30, and €50 were taken until she was left with just €6 in her account.
“I was just in shock. I noticed all these transactions coming out and was trying to figure them out. The bank are taking responsibility and are reimbursing the money,” said the student, whose card was skimmed in Castletroy.
She immediately contacted the fraud department in Bank of Ireland, while gardai locally are also liaising with the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation in Dublin.
A lady from Fedamore, Co Limerick, said she immediately went to her AIB branch in Raheen, and her card was rejected for appearing to be overdrawn. However, she was informed that there were two small purchases on her account pending from Palma in Spain on Monday last, October 21. She had used ATM machines in Raheen and Dooradoyle around that time.