A SERIAL fraudster who used a “sophisticated” cash skimming device to fleece cashpoint users has walked free from court.

Romanian Leonid Rotaru (pictured) used a card reader which he fitted over the card entry slot of ATM machines around the country to obtain PIN numbers.

Users would unwittingly pass their card through the reader - which would record the card and account details - and earn the scammer a total of between £500 and £1,500, a court heard.

A tiny pinhole camera hidden in the device would then film the victim entering their PIN number.
But his luck ran out when a suspicious customer at Tesco Express in Minehead alerted police, who identified Rotaru on CCTV footage and caught him loitering by the machine.

Rotaru, 32, of Ashleigh Avenue, Bridgwater, admitted four counts of fraud and was given an 18-month suspended sentence at Taunton Crown Court today (December 20).

Defending, Gareth Evans asked for credit for an early guilty plea and said: “He admitted his role in the offences and was very frank about it."