Bulgarian man arrested in Pampanga for ATM skimming

Jun A. Malig
Bulgarian man arrested in Pampanga for ATM skimming
Bank guards noticed Ivaylo Sashov inserting ATM cards in succession in a BPI machine, Pampanga police say


PAMPANGA, Philippines – Police arrested a Bulgarian tourist who was caught withdrawing money from an automated teller machine using cloned ATM cards in San Fernando City.

The Police Regional Office 3 in Camp Olivas reported that on Wednesday, January 3, guards of the Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI) Family Savings Bank branch in Barangay San Agustin noticed the foreigner inserting ATM cards in succession in the ATM machine.

The man was identified as Bulgarian national Ivaylo Sashov Galapov, based on identification documents found on him.

Sensing that the foreigner might be doing something illegal, the guards called the police who arrived at the bank located in San Agustin village, and arrested the suspect.   

Policemen recovered from Galapov 6 cloned ATM cards, P2,100 cash, and a motorcycle. The suspect also had two Bulgarian identification cards.         

The police coordinated with the Bureau of Immigration to determine Galapov’s status and his possible involvement in an international syndicate engaged in ATM card fraud.

Authorities are preparering charges against the suspect for violation of Republic Act No 8484 or the Access Devices Regulation Act, and RA 8792 or the Electronic Commerce Act.

On July 4, 2017, 3 Caucasian tourists were caught withdrawing money from the same ATM machine that Galapov used. 

In 2014, two men from Bulgaria were arrested for card skimming. Security officials believe a group composed of Eastern Europeans could be behind a card scamming ring. (READ: Eastern Europeans could be behind ATM fraud – BPI)

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas earlier urged bank account holders to convert their ATM cards from magnetic stripe cards to EMV chip cards to improve their protection against fraud.

EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard, Visa and it refers to the chip technology which is now the global standard for credit, debit, and prepaid card payments. The BSP has mandated local banks to fully shift to this technology by the second quarter of 2018. Rappler.com

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