Los Angeles/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on December 09, 2023
FBI Issues Alert for Suspected ATM Skimming Ringleader in Southern CaliforniaSource: FBI

The FBI is on the hunt for Silviu-Florin Spiridon and associates, accused of scamming ATM users by skimming their card information, the agency announced last week. Spiridon, who goes by multiple aliases, including "Milan Rasek" and "Teofil Nowicki," is alleged to have been involved in a sophisticated scheme targeting unsuspecting victims through ATM and point of sale terminals in Southern California.

With a rap sheet that includes bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, Spiridon was last sighted in the Southern California area, according to an FBI bulletin. The suspect is described as 5'11" in height, weighing around 136 pounds and sports a birth date of March 29, 1991. The FBI warns that Spiridon, alongside his accomplices, may have swindled more than $220,000 from over 300 victims by siphoning funds from their electronic benefits transfer or "EBT" cards.

The manner of the crime involved installing diminutive but potent skimming devices capable of capturing, storing, or transmitting data directly from users as they accessed their funds. These contraptions were insidiously put in place at various points of sale, including gas station pumps and ATMs, paired with tiny hidden cameras to snatch PIN numbers as customers keyed them in.

The accumulated data was then used to tap into victims' accounts, leading to unauthorized charges or cash withdrawals. A federal arrest warrant for Spiridon materialized on April 19, 2023, set forth by the United States District Court, Central District of California, Santa Ana, California. The FBI Los Angeles office has taken to social media, posting a #FugitiveFriday call for tips that might lead to Spiridon's capture.

The bureau is urging anyone with information concerning this individual to step forward and contact their local FBI office or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate. The bureau's Los Angeles office can be reached at 310-477-6565, and further details on Spiridon's case can be found on the FBI's official website.