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Two charged in gas-pump skimming case

Posted September 29, 2009

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— Two Cary men face more than three dozen charges in connection with an alleged skimming operation at gas stations in Raleigh and Cary.

Nghi Huu Bui, 35, of 107 Otter Drive, and Loc Huu Bui, 37, of 102 Woodgen Drive, were arrested Friday after, authorities said, they attached electronic devices called skimmers to the inside of gas pumps in Raleigh to capture and store bank card and personal identification numbers.

Loc Huu Bui and Nghi Huu Bui Two charged in skimming schemes

Each face 10 counts each of financial card theft with a scanning device and 10 counts of financial card fraud.

According to search warrants returned Tuesday, Raleigh police received multiple reports of unauthorized ATM withdrawals.

Investigators were able to link the cards to purchases at several Raleigh gas stations, including ones at 2701 S. Saunders St., 4100 New Hope Road and an Exxon station at 2201 W. Millbrook Road, where investigators found five skimmers on pumps.

Each of the skimmers were somehow completely inside the gas pumps, Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said.

"People have no way of knowing, no matter how vigilant they are at the time they use the card that their information is being skimmed."

He urged customers who have purchased gas with credit or debit cards to pay careful attention to their bank activity and credit card statements and report any irregularities or suspicions to police.

It's unclear how far back the alleged criminal activity goes, Sughrue said, but "we know that it has been fairly recent activity. Investigators are still accumulating information and still locating victims."

Surveillance cameras at local ATMs led police to the suspects, according to the warrants.

Investigators seized a number of items from the homes of the suspects, including a Nikon camera, camera lens, blank cards with magnetic strips, gift cards, credit cards and "a list of names," although it doesn't specify what the list is.

Both men were in the Wake County jail Tuesday under a $750,000 bonds.

Local authorities have reported numerous cases of skimming in recent months at both ATMs and gas stations. In such cases, data captured, combined with hidden-camera video of PIN entry, is used to create new, fake cards to withdraw cash and make purchases.

Local law enforcement officials advise ATM users of the following tips:

  • Closely examine ATM card slots to make sure nothing appears to be attached to the front of them.
  • Do not use an ATM if the card reader appears to be added on, to fit poorly or to be loose.
  • Avoid device instructions that have messages, such as "Swipe Here First" or “Use This Machine Only.”
  • If something does not look right, use another ATM.
  • Always cover the ATM keypad while entering a PIN, in case a hidden camera is nearby.
  • Never accept help from anyone at an ATM machine.
  • Immediately call the customer service number on an ATM if a machine does not return a card, appears suspicious or does not function properly.
  • Pay attention to bank statements and account activity.
30 Comments

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  • Handle With Care Sep 30, 2009

    My bank, SECU , caught on to this quick and sent me a replacement card before my card had been able to be comprimised. I only used it at two places, Village Draft House and Exxon.

  • BubbaDuke Sep 30, 2009

    I've been victimized in the past so I have no sympathy for these criminals. It just makes you wonder how many more are out there doing the same thing. The best way to prevent this from happening again is to cut off their fingers and toes, blind them, remove their tongues, and brand "THIEVES" into their forehead.

  • pappy1 Sep 30, 2009

    Both of them need to be deported on the first thing smokin' -- all the way back to Vietnam.

  • showmethemoney0100 Sep 30, 2009

    If you have ever been on the side of having your identity stolen like I have you would love to see these people put under the jail. It took the better part of 8 years to get life back to where it was. The people that caused my headaches only served 3 years because this was "only" their second offense. I served 8 years of a credit nightmare. I don't care if this is their first time caught they need to serve the length of time it takes their victims to recover. The credit card companies and financial groups don't care they just see the information about the crime on your report and tell you we are so sorry but we cannot help you. That was a few years ago and yes I'm still bitter. So these guys can sit in jail and rot!

  • whateveryousay Sep 30, 2009

    robbincasino-- I dont think their bail is too high.... I was merely pointing out, that the others were too low. I kinda think that killing someone should be no bail.

    These men are career criminals, they should have been remanded.

  • Journey985 Sep 30, 2009

    Oops, I may be incorrect, it might be the station across from the Raceway station, my apologies...Not sure, Google is a little off on my computer this morning.

  • Journey985 Sep 30, 2009

    Actually 3stooges, 2701 S. Saunders IS the Exxon across from the Burger King. Sorry, but you might have saved yourself there!!!

  • Professor Sep 30, 2009

    How come they were not discovered sooner?

  • Lyle Sep 30, 2009

    nccarrguy: "In China they would get their hands cut off and serve 20 years hard time".

    I just had to lol at this. After they got their hands cut off, would 20 years hard time involve stringing necklaces? Forcing them to take piano lessons? Tying fly-fishing flies? Nyuk nyuk nyuk.

    The scammers could well be considered more of a flight risk than the other pwerps mentioned, hence the high bail. Or, not first-time offenders. I agree with those who say make it hurt.

  • 3stoogesfan Sep 30, 2009

    A few months ago, I had a hard time getting the pump at the Exxon station across from the Burger King to accept my card. It acted like it did not want to go in like something was blocking it so I moved up a pump and had no problem. I just wasn't sure if it was me or if someone had put a skimmer on but I didn't want to take any chances and force my card in there. This gas station wasn't listed yet as one of the ones that had skimmers. It'd be interesting to know. I hope all the owners are asked to check their pumps.

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