Lake Worth

Two arrested after allegedly installing card skimmer on ATM in Lake Worth

The skimmer device was placed inside the card reader of the ATM, and a separate capture device was affixed to the outside of the ATM itself

Lake Worth Police Department

Two men were arrested after allegedly installing a card skimmer on an ATM in Lake Worth.

According to the Lake Worth Police Department, officers responded to a report of suspicious activity at a local ATM. While conducting surveillance, officers observed two men installing a skimmer device on the ATM.

The skimmer device was placed inside the card reader of the ATM, and a separate capture device was affixed to the outside of the ATM itself. The device inside the card reader records the data from the debit card, while the external device records the visitor’s PIN number and stores the data.

LWPD says the suspicious activity was observed on surveillance cameras, and the department was altered to be on the lookout. Officers set up surveillance and observed the suspect vehicle and the suspects tampering with the ATM. As they left, a traffic stop was conducted and both men were arrested.

Officers arrested 20-year-old cousins, Adrian Parulea and Florin Parulea Wednesday morning who they say are Romanian national citizens.

Both men have been charged with Unlawful Interception, Use, or Disclosure of Wire, Oral or Electronic Communications (Texas Penal Code 16.02), a second-degree felony. In addition, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer has been placed on both.

Skimming occurs when devices illegally installed on ATMs, point-of-sale (POS) terminals, or fuel pumps capture data or record cardholders’ PINs. Criminals use the data to create fake debit or credit cards and then steal from victims’ accounts. It is estimated that skimming costs financial institutions and consumers more than $1 billion each year.


  • Inspect ATMs, POS terminals, and other card readers before use. Look for anything loose, crooked, damaged, or scratched. Don't use any card reader if you notice anything unusual.
  • Pull at the edges of the keypad before entering your PIN. Then, cover the keypad when you enter your PIN to prevent cameras from recording your entry.
  • Use ATMs in a well-lit, indoor location, which are less vulnerable targets.
  • Be alert for skimming devices in tourist areas, which are popular targets.
  • Use debit and credit cards with chip technology. In the U.S., there are fewer devices that steal chip data versus magnetic strip data.
  • Avoid using your debit card when you have linked accounts. Use a credit card instead.
  • Contact your financial institution if the ATM doesn't return your card after you end or cancel a transaction.
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