SALT LAKE CITY – A Romanian citizen is back in Utah facing federal charges of bank fraud and identity theft as prosecutors say he stole well $190 thousand dollars in a short amount of time.
Federal investigators say Alexandru Licsor was involved in placing skimming devices at four different banks in Utah between January and February of 2015. In all, he and his co-conspirators lifted the bank information off of 2,000 cards. That data was placed on things expired gift cards or anything that had a magnetic strip.
“They have a way to duplicate the data and use it just like a bank card,” according to FBI Assistant Special Agent Dave Fitzgibbons.
These devices are usually extremely hard to spot with the naked eye.
Fitzgibbons says, “They’re very sophisticated and very difficult. Any of us could fall prey to it.”
Along with the skimmer, Fitzgibbons says thieves will normally place a camera nearby, usually over the person’s shoulder. So, Fitzgibbons says people need to behave as if someone is watching over them, even when they’re all alone.
“You have to protect your PIN. Put your hand over it. They usually have a recording device watching you put that PIN. That’s how they get the code,” he says.
Licsor was indicted in 2017 and has been on the run since then. Investigators were able to track him down in Romania brought him back to Utah a few days ago.
Fitzgibbons says, “The FBI will aggressively pursue subjects all around the world.”
Licsor is facing one count of access device fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft and four counts of bank fraud.
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