BALDWIN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Metropolitan Transportation Authority police on Monday were reminding Long Island Rail Road customers to watch out while buying tickets at vending machines, after evidence was uncovered that scammers have been trying to steal credit and debit card information at one station.
MTA Police Chief Michael Coan and Long Island Rail Road President Helena E. Williams urged customers who bought tickets from an LIRR ticket vending machine at the Baldwin station should check with their banks or credit card companies right away to see if there has been unauthorized activity.
The LIRR and MTA police will monitor vending machines, but asked the public to remain vigilant.
Last week, LIRR staffers found card skimming devices and hidden cameras on the vending machines at Baldwin during a routine inspection, and notified MTA police right away. MTA police detectives have launched an investigation, but had no suspects Monday night.
Anyone with information about ticket vending machine fraud was asked to call the MTA Police Communications Division at (718) 361-2247.
Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said the pair — along with two other suspects, Valer Zaharia and Teodora Zaharia — placed “skimming” devices and hidden cameras near ticket vending machines in Chappaqua, Sea Cliff, Bayside, Great Neck, Merillon Avenue and Greenvale stations.
Then they stole customers’ PIN numbers and other financial information.
The Zaharias are awaiting trial and a fifth suspect is still being sought.
Prosecutors said all five are Romanian nationals. They estimate the scheme netted in excess of $70,000 from financial institutions.
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