Officials warn residents to beware of skimmers on ATMs


(WTNH) — It probably doesn’t cross your mind as you go to the ATM to draw money that thieves can take your personal information right off of your card, right at your own bank. One of the most common places, police say, they can add an extra skimmer right here on the side of this one. So when you swipe your card through they snatch her information as well.”

“It is an incredibly sophisticated way to commit crimes,” said South Windsor Deputy Chief Scott Custer.

Custer found a card skimmer found inside of an ATM. We told you just how easy it is for thieves to place skimmers inside gas pumps then download your card information as you swipe it. Another trend is scammers inside ATMs taking card numbers and their corresponding pins.

Lora Rae Anderson of the Consumer Protection Agency says these devices are becoming more and more popular.

“A skimmer can really go on any device that swipe your credit card. These things can be found in grocery stores, they can be found at fast food establishments, they can be found on your ATM,” said Anderson.

The Department of Consumer Protection has been warning businesses and card users about the skimmers. They have been found dozens of times on banks and ATMs around the state. Police in South Windsor investigated a gas station break-in where a thief ripped open the top of the ATM. It turns out he’s not after the cash inside, says Dep. Chief Custer, but the skimmer, which is much more lucrative.

“A skimming device was placed on a gas station ATM, and we discovered that because the suspects actually committed a burglary to retrieve the skimmer and all the data that it contained,” said Custer.

Hartford Detective Kimberly Borkowski is a member of the Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force. When they seize the skimmers, they run electronic DNA tests to try and track them back to the owners. She says once the skimmer is in place, they can download your swipe card with Bluetooth technology.

“You wouldn’t know if you weren’t looking, but they would have to be within WiFi range, so parked in a neighboring parking lot or what not picking up the signal sitting there with a laptop,” said Borkowski.

The thieves then load your card number and pin onto a blank and start spending at your expense.

The bank say you should keep a close eye on your credit card statement because the sooner you find fraudulent charges, the faster they can track down the thieves.

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