Two Austinites charged with using skimmer in Louisiana to clone bank cards

Adalberto Ramos, left, and Emicel Artigas (Bossier Sheriff-Police Financial Crimes Task Force)
Adalberto Ramos, left, and Emicel Artigas (Bossier Sheriff-Police Financial Crimes Task Force)

BOSSIER CITY, La. (KXAN) — Two men from Austin were arrested in Bossier City, Louisiana, believed to have been using a credit card skimmer to make cloned bank cards to buy items at stores.

Adalberto Ramos, 42, and Emicel Garcia Artigas, 38, were arrested and charged with monetary instrument abuse on Friday, July 14, after they were seen at the Walmart in Bossier City, near Shreveport, using multiple bank cards at a self-checkout to buy gift cards.

Detectives took them into custody in the parking lot, finding multiple cloned cards on them along with numerous purchased gift cards. Detectives found another 20 cloned cards in their vehicle in addition to a skimmer, multiple thumb drives and a laptop capable of making the cloned cards.

The Bossier-Sheriff-Police Financial Crimes Task Force says they also found a key that opens gas pumps and allow access for a skimmer to be placed inside. Both Ramos and Artigas are being held in the Bossier Parish Maximum Security Facility.

Additional charges are expected against the suspects. The task force offers the following tips to prevent you from falling victim to skimmers:

  • Inspect bank card readers before using them. Be suspicious if they appear loose, crooked or damaged.
  • If possible, use an ATM at an inside location (less access for criminals installing skimmers).
  • Make payments for gas inside the gas station instead of at the pump.
  • If you choose to pay at the gas pump, check to make sure the gas pump dispenser cabinet is closed and has not been tampered with. Many gas stations place security tape over the cabinet to ensure it has not been opened by unauthorized individuals.
  • When entering a PIN, cover your hand as you press the numbers to protect personal information.
  • Monitor bank accounts regularly for suspicious transactions.

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