Man stole from ex-footballer with card skimmer

Nathan Lowndes in action for Livingston. Picture: Sean Bell
Nathan Lowndes in action for Livingston. Picture: Sean Bell
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AN ATM scammer whose card-skimming scheme saw a former Scottish Premier League footballer fall victim to his fraud has been jailed.

Alexandru Uzum, from Oxgangs, was sent to prison for ten months and co-conspirator Eduard Zamosteanu was given a community payback order after they fitted a “card trapping” device and a camera on an ATM in Perth Road, Scone.

Nathan Lowndes, a former Livingston striker and now Police Scotland officer, then used the machine and had his details stolen.

Uzum and Zamosteanu were loitering nearby in a BMW waiting for someone to use the machine – then used the card to steal £200 from his account the next day.

The pair tried to repeat the scam at the same machine – but were caught when an alert witness ripped the device from the ATM and spotted the pair lurking across the road.

Fiscal depute Trina Sinclair told Dundee Sheriff Court that Lowndes had been coming home from a night out and stopped at the machine to get money to pay his taxi.

She said: “The following morning he received a text message telling him to contact his bank urgently because there had been suspicious activity.”

Zamosteanu admitted possessing the card-trapping device between May 20 and June 9, 2015.

Uzum admitted using the stolen details to operate an ATM and steal £200.

Uzum also admitted he later installed the device again at the same machine on May 28 to prevent bank cards from being ejected by the machine in a bid to steal a bank card and PIN number.

Uzum, 25, of Oxgangs Park, and Zamosteanu, 27, a prisoner at HMP Perth, pleaded guilty on indictment at Dundee Sheriff Court.

Florin Necula, 36, of Oxgangs Park, had his not guilty pleas to similar charges accepted by the Crown.

Sheriff Alistair Carmichael jailed Uzum for 41 weeks and imposed a community payback order on Zamosteanu imposing 200 hours of unpaid work.

Lowndes, 38, made his name in Scotland at St Johnstone and went on to score three times in 21 appearances for Livingston in season 2001/02.