Police investigate suspicious card reader at ATM

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Police suspect this device found at an ATM on Eastwood Road is a card reader that collects data. Photo courtesy of the Wilmington Police Department.
Police suspect this device found at an ATM on Eastwood Road is a skimming device used to collect card information. Photo courtesy of the Wilmington Police Department.

Wilmington police are investigating a suspicious device that was placed over the card reader of a local ATM on Saturday.

Police suspect a “skimming device” was placed at the ATM at the First Citizens Bank, 1910 Eastwood Road, according to Wilmington Police Department Spokeswoman Linda Rawley.

Bank security notified police to the device, which had been placed over the front of the ATM card reader. The device is reportedly used by people who are collecting card data, Rawley said. Credit card information is collected and stored when the device scans the magnetic strip on the back of the card.

“Police recommend inspecting any ATM before making a transaction. Skimming devices are often held on by weak adhesives for easy removal and may not fit properly and seem loose,” Rawley said. “Police also recommend using your hand to cover the keypad while entering your PIN, to shield the number from any potential recording devices.”

The police department has offered the following tips on how to avoid and deal with skimming:

  • Make sure your card stays in sight.
  • Remember your credit card is like cash.
  • Monitor credit card receipts and check them carefully against your statements.
  • Shred unwanted financial solicitations and put your mail on hold when you leave town.
  • Contact your bank or credit card issuer immediately and tell them your card data has been stolen. If you don’t make a report quickly, you may be liable for some or all of the unauthorized charges.
  • Call police.
  • Contact the three major credit bureaus – TransUnion, Equifax and Experian – to request a security freeze, which prevents new credit authorizations without your consent.

Anyone with information about the devices or who notices an unusual device attached to an ATM is asked to contact a local bank or the Wilmington Police Department at 910-343-3609 or Text-A-Tip to CRIMES. Start your message with Tip708, then type your tip.