ATM skimmer gang invested proceeds in 3D printer to make better ATM skimmers

Last February, i.materialise reported that they'd declined an offer to 3D print a new fascia for an ATM, because they suspected it was part of an ATM skimmer (a device used to capture peoples' ATM PINs and card numbers). The news may have inspired another ATM skimmer gang, four men from South Texas who were indicted in June. Prosecutors say the crooks had saved their pennies from earlier ATM ripoffs and invested in a 3D printer that they used to print their own fascia without having to go through an intermediary like i.materialise.
“When [Lall was] put in jail, we asked, ‘What are we going to do?’ and we had to figure it out and that’s when we came up with this unit,” Paz allegedly told the undercover officer.

The government alleges Paz also was the guy who encoded the stolen card data onto counterfeit cards. The feds say Albert Richard of Missouri City, Texas prepared ATMs at numerous banks where the skimming devices were installed, by covering the ATM cameras or spray-painting over them, and by acting as a lookout.

A fourth defendant, John Griffin, is alleged to have used the counterfeit cards to withdraw funds at different ATMs around Texas. Prosecutors allege the group stole more than $400,000 between Aug. 2009 and June 2011. Prior to their arrest this summer, the gang started making decent money but they split the profits between them. Federal prosecutors say the men stole $57.808.14 in month of April 2011 alone (yes, that’s an odd amount to have come out of ATMs, but I digress).

Gang Used 3D Printers for ATM Skimmers


  1. Missouri City!  Awesome, right down the road from here.  Now if only I had his address and a baseball bat to apply some Texas Justice.

    I need to show this to my wife so she understands why every device I put my card into gets inspected, prodded and tugged to make sure it’s actually a part of the ATM/pump/reader and not something stuck on to it.

  2. Excellent. Proliferation of better criminals with better techniques is necessary if we expect banks to ever dump this 1970s technology that our credit/debit card system uses.

  3. The $8.14 could have come from debit transactions, or if they’re really stupid, online purchases shipped to their home address.

    Missouri City is about a 45 min drive from where I live. I’m going to follow Restless’ advice and tug on the card reader every time I use an ATM.

  4. cory time to take ur makers book off the shelves, otherwise u ll be the guilty one when the first kid shoots up a school with a home printed AK.

  5. You’d figure there would be a way to use public key encryption to communicate between the card and the ATM, preventing an intermediate device (the skimmer) from reading the data.

    1. You’d also think that if the camera was disabled or blinded the ATM could use simple scene analysis software to realize this and put the ATM into an out-of-order state.

  6. Cops always say criminals are criminals because they are stupid (you know, rather than productive members of society).  But here, I digress.  

    Am I naive in thinking I am safe when I use bank chain based ATMs with flashing light faces?

Comments are closed.