ATM skimmers hidden on bank doors, police say

Door-mounted card readers have been compromised by skimmers. | Krebs

Fraudsters who’ve stolen countless Chicagoans’ debit card numbers and PINs by installing skimming devices on ATMs around the city have rolled out a different scheme. Cops in West Town this week reported finding a skimmer installed on the door to an ATM vestibule.

Banks commonly require a card to be swiped to unlock ATM lobbies. Now, those access swipers may be compromised by skimmers, too.

Police said that shortly before 9 p.m. on Tuesday, a Fifth Third Bank customer swiped his ATM card to enter the bank at 1209 North Milwaukee. But when he swiped, a “suspect skimming device” fell off the door and dropped to the ground, according to cops. No device was found on the banks ATMs.

Since our last skimming report in July, Chicago police have recovered at least eleven other skimmers on the North Side, according to city data.

Multiple devices have been found in the Loop and Streeterville neighborhoods.

A typical ATM skimming device. | Patch

For the unfamiliar, 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.

A police officer earlier this year sent CWBChicago a list of suggestions to help our readers avoid skimmer scams: “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 July 10th, skimming devices have been recovered from the following North Side locations, according to Chicago police:

Date Block Location Description
July 11, 2018 500 W Madison St Office Bldg
July 13, 2018 4800 N Lincoln Ave Drug Store
July 17, 2018 First Block Of W Elm St Bank
July 18, 2018 900 W Irving Park Rd Drug Store
July 18, 2018 2300 W Irving Park Rd Drug Store
July 24, 2018 600 N Fairbanks Ct Bank
August 2, 2018 100 E Walton St Bank
August 3, 2018 400 N Michigan Ave Small Retail Store
August 24, 2018 200 N La Salle St Bank
August 28, 2018 100 W Madison St Other
August 31, 2018 5000 N Broadway Bank

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is