Three individuals caught using a credit card skimmer and encoder were convicted for a string of financial crimes including but not limited to identity theft.
The individuals conducted a credit card cloning and ID theft scam using a credit card skimmer to steal credit card numbers and a credit card encoder to create physical copies of the stolen credit cards. The stolen credit cards were skimmed from customers at a Taco Bell restaurant and from gym members in Broomfield, Woodland Park, Lakewood, Pueblo, and Canon City.
Police said this week that thirty two year old Mark Nielson was convicted of identity theft and racketeering and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Twenty four year old Corey Skinner was convicted of identity theft and received a 10-year sentence.
According to court documents twenty three year old Amanda Stillwell was convicted of racketeering and is awaiting a sentencing hearing near the end of the month.
Devices similar to the credit card skimmer used in these crimes are available legally in the US and advertised on multiple web sites. During a search we conducted we encountered one retailer even running “15% off sale” on credit card skimmers. The credit card encoder, which takes the data collected by the credit card skimmer and “writes” it onto either old credit cards or blank credit card stock, is also readily available for sale online.
This ring of criminals used the cloned credit cards to purchase merchandise. Crooks using credit card skimmers also sell the data to other criminals know as “carders” in online chat rooms.
By Keith Lubsen