|Pieces of an ATM skimmer recovered in Lakeview this spring. | CPD|
At least 10 more ATM skimming devices have been recovered by Chicago police since our last report on the data-sucking hardware on June 18th. Streeterville, River North, and Lincoln Park have each had multiple skimmers found over the past month.
Skimmers are small devices that criminals plant on ATMs to secretly capture users’ banking information and PINs. After allowing the sneaky contraptions to collect data for a period of time, fraudsters return to the ATM, collect the skimmers, and then create counterfeit debit cards using the captured data.
Here’s the latest info: Tuesday, Byline Bank workers at 2 West Elm found a skimmer on their ATM, which faces State Street. Detectives recovered the device.
|Skimmer parts removed from an ATM. | BDO|
On Thursday afternoon, police were called to a Walgreens in North Center to recover a skimmer from the store’s ATM at 2301 West Irving Park Road. Other than banks, pharmacies have been the most popular locations for skimmer device placement in Chicago this year.
Also on Thursday, a skimmer was found on the ATM at Walgreens, 953 West Irving. It was the second skimmer found on that store’s ATM this month, according to police records.
A police officer offered several suggestions to avoid falling victim to skimmers: “If you use an ATM in a bank after hours, you can use any card with a magnetic stripe to enter the vestibule. Use an expired card,” she said. “Then, before you put your real car in the machine, pull on EVERYTHING!! The keypad, the slot that you put your card in, etc. Nothing should come loose. If it does, call the police or alert the bank. Last but not least, cover your hand when you enter your PIN.”
If any part of the ATM feels loose or comes off in your hand, don’t use that machine.
Since our June 18th report, ATM skimmers have also been found in the following North Side and downtown locations: