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Thieves used fraudulent debit cards in NYC 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Thieves using bank account information stolen in Cambridge have been defrauding banks, Cambridge police said, using so-called ATM skimmers.

“Skimming is a big deal. It’s about a billion-dollar-a-year crime,” said Robert Siciliano of McAfee Security.

Watch NewsCenter 5′s report

Police said between November and January thieves defrauded an untold number of customers over the course of seven weekends with a skimming device on ATMs in Central Square.

Siciliano said these little devices are easy to get and almost undetectable.

“It fits over the card slot, it looks like it belongs there and when you slide your card through, it reads the information off the magnetic strip,” he said.

That information is almost useless unless the skimmers have your PIN, but Siciliano said thieves are stealing those with small wireless cameras.

Police said the information gathered from the ATM skimmers was used to withdraw cash in New York City.

Siciliano said you should always cover your hand when entering your PIN, and if you can avoid the ATM altogether by withdrawing cash inside the bank itself.

“Banks should really put pressure on the credit card companies to upgrade and update the technology on the credit cards,” he said.

The real problem, said Siciliano, is the technology itself. The United States is one of the few developed countries not using chip technology to increase security.

“I think the US kind of got caught up in thinking that mobile was going to leapfrog chip and PIN and mobile would become our payment of choice, however, that really hasn’t happened,” he said.


John Silvia Jr. charged with stealing $300K

SOMERSET, Mass. — A Somerset man whose right to practice law has been revoked is facing federal charges stemming from allegations that he stole about $300,000 from two investors who were promised hefty profits within three months.

Massachusetts State Secretary William Galvin alleges that 55-year-old John Silvia Jr. spent the money on gifts to relatives, payment of life insurance premiums and Red Sox season tickets.

The U.S. District Attorney’s office says Silvia was arrested Friday and charged in a complaint with mail and wire fraud. Conviction carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

The complaint also named Richardson Consulting LLC and Fairway Realty LLC, which were two companies controlled by the suspect that were allegedly used to perpetrate the scam.

Silvia’s attorney was not listed in the federal case file.

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