Boise Police Department
News Release

Michael F. Masterson
Chief of Police


Contact: Lynn Hightower
Communications Director
570-6180

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Detectives want to warn consumers and ask for your help!

Detectives want to warn consumers and ask for your help!

    What happened: In June of this year the suspect shown in these images placed what detectives call a "Skimming" device on the ATM of a local bank. The device captures the victims identifying credit/debit card information and stores it. The suspect then removed the device and used the information to steal money from victim's accounts. The activity is believed to have taken place some time between June 11th and June 18th at a bank in East Boise. 

    Detectives believe the suspect may have been travelling through the area and has been linked to cases in Oregon and Washington states.

   If you have any information about this case call Crime Stoppers at 343-COPS or contact non-emergency dispatch at 377-6790. Detectives want to hear from you!

   So, how do you avoid ATM skimming?

First, only use ATMs in well-lit areas that have security cameras installed. The machine outside a financial institution with a camera and a bank of floodlights is going to be a lot harder to retrofit than the one at the corner of a poorly lit parking lot. 

Second, pay attention. You need to be alert for suspicious devices and It’s always a good idea to be alert to your surroundings any time you handle cash in public (for your physical safety). You can’t do either if you are distracted with a phone or other device.

Before you even take out your card, check the machine and everything around it. Look for parts that seem crooked, or decals that are partially covered. This is just one possible sign of skimming. A reader that’s a different color than the rest of the machine can also be a clue. However, some of these devices are small enough to only cover the slot itself. A lot of machines have lights around the slot; if these are not visible, it could mean a device has been attached. Basically, if something doesn’t seem right, find a different machine.

Also check out any brochure racks or other items on or near the ATM. Cameras can be hidden just about anywhere these days. As an extra precaution, when you’re entering your PIN, cover your hand with your other hand.

These devices are usually held loosely in place with glue or tape, as the thief must remove them later. Also give the keypad a once-over. If it sticks out too far or looks strange, it could be a warning sign.

If you see something that isn't right or doesn't belong it could be a skimmer, either contact the financial institution (if it’s nearby) or the police. It is common for the suspect to be in the area when the ATM Skimming is taking place, be alert for people milling around nearby, call local police when in doubt.

 

Release Prepared By:

Charles McClure
Boise Police Public Information