Investigations have revealed that a skimming device found at a Waukesha U.S. Bank ATM was part of international ring involving millions of dollars, reported TMJ4.
The skimming device and a camera was found by a person who was working on the ATM on Silvernail Road in Febrarury.
Two men have been arrested and charged in federal court in New York in connection with the skimming device found in Waukesha, as well as others found in Milwaukee and Franklin. TMJ4 reported that the thieves attempted to steal $3 million with the account numbers and pins number they obtained through the devices.
Police are not sure how many people fell victim to the device in Waukesha.
How to Avoid ATM Scams
It’s extremely difficult to find skimmers. The devices can easily fool an unsuspecting person who is using the machine. The skimmers store the credit card information and coupled with the hidden camera, can be a serious breach in debit and credit card security.
Criminals using ATM skimming devices have made off with about $1 billion annually of other people’s money, according to the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau.
“Some of these things have gotten pretty sophisticated,” Brian Krebs, editor of KrebsOnSecurity.comtold CBS in New Jersey. “The ones that fit into the throat of machines would be very difficult to detect.”
A U.S. Bancorp spokesperson advised in Tuesday’s Waukesha Freeman that customers use their hands to shield the pin number from any possible hidden cameras.
Krebs in the CBS article has similar advice.
“They get your card data, they get your PIN, and they never have to touch the ATM,” Krebs told CBS.“Another thing I tell people is, if you see two ATMs and one is out of order, you might want to pay special attention to the one that’s not out of order.
The Wisconsin Better Business Bureau’s website offers the following advice to avoid ATM fraud:
Protect your PIN – When entering your PIN, cover the keypad with your other hand to prevent any cameras from catching your digits. False keypads placed over the real keypad are also a way scammers get PIN numbers so if the keypad looks different, move on.
Give it a wiggle – Skimming devices are often false panels attached to the ATM—such as where you put your card into the machine. If parts of the ATM look damaged or different, give it a wiggle. Also look for new or suspiciously placed cameras and unusual signage. Don’t hesitate to walk away and use another ATM if it doesn’t feel right.
Be picky with your ATMS – Avoid using ATMs in poorly lighted or low trafficked areas. Experts often recommend choosing a bank ATM over standalone ATMs in public places. Not only do identity thieves attach devices to legitimate ATMs to steal numbers. They will also place their own phony ATMS in public places.
Keep an eye on your statements – The most vigilant person can still fall victim to ATM skimmers, and it’s important to always keep a close eye on your accounts—particularly the itemized breakdown of charges and debits—so that you can quickly report any suspicious activity on your account.
Report fraud immediately – Report any fraudulent activity to your bank as soon as you discover it.