CLEARWATER — Police accused two Chicago men of using ATM card scanning devices to steal personal bank account information.
Clearwater police said Samuil Slavov and Miroslav S. Petkov, both 27, set up the scanners on two ATMs, including one at the Regions Bank at 655 S Belcher Road.
The devices fit over the ATM card slot and read information off a card's magnetic strip. A small camera on the device records customers' PINs as they tap them into the keypad.
On Monday, Regions Bank security notified police of the information-skimming devices on two of their ATMs.
Police set up surveillance and about 9 p.m. Monday saw Slavov and Petkov approach an ATM and remove the scanning device.
The two men drove off and police eventually stopped and arrested them. The device was found in the car.
Slavov faces two charges of using a scanning device; Petkov faces one charge.
Slavov's second charge came from a similar ATM card incident in Clearwater in 2008.
He was held at the Pinellas County Jail for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Petkov posted $5,000 bail and was released.
Police said both men came to the Clearwater area specifically to commit the crimes.
Police advise people to be careful when using ATMs:
• Use familiar machines and look for anything new or suspicious.
• Contact the bank or law enforcement if anything looks unusual or suspicious.
• Protect PINs and shield the keypad when entering your number.