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Police: ATM 'skimming' device used to steal $100,000 from Lincolnwood bank

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There's a new warning for suburban Lincolnwood bank customers after thieves targeted an ATM and made off with more than a $100,000. (WLS)

There's a new warning for suburban Lincolnwood bank customers after thieves targeted an ATM and made off with more than a $100,000.

Police say thieves came to the ATM three times to install a "skimmer", a small device that fits over the slot where cards are inserted into ATMs. When a card is inserted, information can be read from the card and a small video camera captures customers as they enter their PIN numbers.

Customers like Karmel Kifarkis assume an ATM inside their bank is safe, but one in Lincolnwood wasn't.

"I'm just really shocked," Kirfarkis said.

Lincolnwood police report three instances in which thieves attached a skimming device to the ATM at this BMO Harris branch. In mid-January, they used data they gathered to steal $70,000 from customers' accounts. Then - on April 26th and May 3 - the skimming devices were back and thieves siphoned off another $50,000.

"You would think there would be security cameras and catch them the first time and they didn't and it happened again, so I'm just very weary right now," Kifarkis said.

Last September, the I-Team reported on how the skimmer scam works.

"We try to detect hardware and software flaws at ATMs," Matthew Jakubowski, of Trustwave, told the I-Team in September 2014.

Experts at Chicago-based Trustwave try to find vulnerabilities before thieves do.

"The overlays are really hard to see, they're exactly the same color and blend in like everything else," said Abby Ross, Trustwave.

Once they have your info, data robbers can sell it on the black market.

"If they have the ability to make another credit card, they'll take your info put it on another card, go to another ATM and take out the money from your bank account," Ross said.

Police said the skimmers were place on Sunday mornings and removed on Sunday evenings, so bank personnel never noticed them. Police are reviewing surveillance images to identify the suspects.

A spokesperson for BMO Harris said a small number of customers were impacted and the bank is reimbursing them for their losses.


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