Scammers could use ATMs to steal cash

October 9, 2009 (CHICAGO) Grand Central Area detectives have had a number of complaints about ATM skimming on the North and Northwest side. The detectives say people have had money stolen from their bank accounts by offenders who place chips and small hidden cameras at the ATMs to obtain pin numbers.

Chicago detectives say an ATM located on the Northwest Side in the vestibule of a Bank of America is one of the machines that has been tampered with.

"I'm checking the ATM machines throughout the day, from the time we open until the time we close," said John Siracusa, Wackenhut Security.

Detective Scott Dinga says this is how it works: Apparently, thieves have attached a skimming device to the ATM card slot along with a camera above the machine that is on a bar directly above it to capture the PIN number so that they can make withdrawals from the victims' bank account.

"They download the information that they copied and retained from the transaction. They make a copy of your debit card and they have your PIN number. They go to other ATMs to take out money," said Dinga.

Residents are being told to be aware of the machines and to look for signs they have been tampered with.

"You want to check out your surroundings at an ATM. You want to look and see if there is anybody standing around that shouldn't be," said Dinga.

Police say the banks have been cooperative in providing surveillance video of the deployment of the skimming and camera devices that have been placed on the ATM.

The detective says that victims have complained of withdrawals ranging from $20 to $500.

Detective Dinga says you need to be aware of your surroundings when you withdraw money from an ATM and also look at the machine carefully for any signs it may of been tampered with. The detectives say that thieves are able to steal your PIN number in just over a minute.

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