INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Fraud investigators with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) have a safety warning that could help everyone avoid a huge financial headache.
In the last month, police have found credit card skimmers on multiple ATM machines around town.
“It’s very quick,” said IMPD Sgt. Keith Minch. “They’re in and out in 30 seconds.”
A video shot by Sgt. Minch shows officers pulling a skimmer off an ATM. The small computerized device is often installed directly over the credit card reader.
“The skimmer would push on top of the card reader. They can put it on and go,” said Minch.
Last month dozens of bank customers at Teachers Credit Union found out firsthand how easy it is to fall victim after they reported suspicious charges on their accounts and two skimmers were found on ATMs at the bank branch near downtown and another in Avon.
Investigators say just this weekend at different locations, they recovered a camera bar and a small skimmer that’s inserted into the card reader on ATMs.
In the past, skimmers were often found at gas station pumps, but ATM skimmers are even easier to install and give thieves quicker access to cash.
“The ATM is quicker because to do a gas pump the suspect is getting your card info and then they clone that to another card,” said Minch. “At an ATM they get access to your pin, so they get immediate cash.”
The scam now is also not just at ATMs. Crooks can also install skimming devices on credit card readers at cash registers. Sgt. Minch says the best advice to avoid falling victim to skimmers is to use extra caution whenever you swipe your card.
“What we want to get across is look, touch and listen. Is there anything out of the ordinary?” said Minch. “Touch the machine. If you find anything that moves on the ATM, it’s probably not meant to be there.”
The roll-out of credit cards with computer chips has helped combat the skimming problem, but many people still have older cards and not all card readers have been updated to require chips.