An ATM technician found the skimmer while checking the machine at the Target in the 100-block of South State Street at about 9:09 p.m. Sunday.
Chicago police are working to find out how long the skimmer had been stealing credit card information at this busy location. No one is in custody.
Card skimming devices can be difficult to spot. They are typically installed on the outside of machines and look as if they belong there.
High-quality devices are attached over the card slot and you put your card through it without even realizing.
"Skimming devices have been used for a long time now to steal consumers credit card information unknowingly and then these thieves will use those credit cards to make purchases and they might even be able to sell those credit cards on the black market to further exploit consumer's identities," said consumer and finance expert Andrea Woroch.
Experts say the criminals can steal the info remotely. Thieves are using skimmers that use Bluetooth wireless capabilities so that they don't have to go back and take the devices to download the credit card information. The information is actually being sent wirelessly to their laptops. They only have to sit 30 feet away from where they place those devices and people's information is being stolen right there.
Here are some tips to avoid having your information stolen at the pump or ATM:
- Do a quick scan of the ATM or gas pump to see if there are any obvious signs that the machine has been tampered with.
- Be wary of non-bank ATMs
- Check the keypad
- Block your PIN
- Sign up for fraud alerts.