ATM skimmers just keeps getting cleverer. For example: Back in March the police busted a pair of Romanian nationals in the country on journalism visas for hacking Dunkin' Donuts gift cards into ATM cards [PDF]. “Instead of going on a run for coffee and doughnuts with their gift cards, the defendants are instead accused of going to the bank and using its ATMs as their personal slot machines, cashing out large sums of money with each use of their ‘doctored’ Dunkin’ Donut gift cards,” said Queens DA Richard Brown.

Last week the DA indicted Daniel Gheorghe and Ionel Cristian Popa, both 33, on a 70-count indictment. The defendants, who each face up to seven years in prison on each of the 66 counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument if convicted, were ordered held on $150,000 bail each. According to the DA the pair were caught by the police in the vestibule of a Chase bank on Hillside Avenue on March 31 rapidly using multiple Dunkin' Donuts gift cards to draw cash from the machines. The magnetic strips on the gift cards had been re-encoded with stolen account info belonging to myriad banks (including Chase, Bank of America, Citibank, and HSBC), where that bank info came from is still unclear. At the time of their arrest the pair had $17,703 in stolen cash on them and 66 Dunkin' Donut gift cards which had been tampered with.

Police were tipped off to the scammers by fraud investigators at JPMorgan, who noticed the increased activity at the branch. As the Times points out, this is by no means the first case of ATM skimmers being used by Romanian nationals. It appears there is a global ring of ATM skimmers out there. Which is to say, do look at your bank statements closely!