|Known locations of ATM skimmers found in our area since September.|
If carjackings are the hottest crime in Chicago this winter, then ATM skimming devices must be very close behind.
Two more of the data-sucking contraptions were recovered from local cash machines on Thursday—one in Lakeview and the other in North Center.
First, a customer discovered and removed a skimming device from an ATM at Walgreens, 1001 West Belmont, police said. Detectives were on-scene inspecting the device shortly before 3 p.m.
Then, a little after 10 p.m., a bank employee reported finding a skimmer on an ATM at the PNC branch at 4201 North Lincoln.
At least ten devices have been found in our area since late September. Four of those were on ATMs located inside Walgreen’s locations. Three were at bank branches.
Not familiar with skimmers? Here’s what’s up: Fraud operators install overlays on ATM card readers and keypads that secretly record debit card and PIN information from unsuspecting users. Some varieties use cameras to record users’ fingers as they type PINs. The data is collected and then used to extract cash from the compromised accounts.
|An example of what one type of skimming device looks like.| BDO|
Police are encouraging ATM users to inspect the machines, looking for any irregularities or loose parts, before using them. The card reader slot and PIN pad should not wiggle or have extra pieces visible. Also, cover your hand as you type your password into any ATM.
Give everything a good pull. Real ATM parts are built to take a beating. Nothing should move or pop off.
“If there is any type of irregularity or issue in placing the card into the card slot, do not use the ATM,” a police alert warned.
Investigators also suggested covering your hand when you enter your PIN so hidden cameras cannot pick up your secret code.
Anyone with information about skimming incidents is asked to call the Chicago Police Financial Crimes Unit at (312) 746-9661.