Bank officials at Fairfield County Bank at 714 Post Road, doing a regular check of their video surveillance recordings, found that a man was trying to attach a skimming device to an automated teller machine at the bank, failed, then returned to scam the bank out of $2,500 to $3,000.
The bank branch manager reported the incidents to police on Tuesday, Jan. 24. Police gave this account of what happened:
At about 5:45 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 20, according to the video surveillance record, a man walked up to the ATM and tried to attach a skimming device, or skimmer, to it. He was unsuccessful and eventually left.
What Skimmers Are and How They Work
Skimmers typically are carefully constructed covers that are meant to fool ATM users into thinking that they’re inserting their cards into the ATM. (Some skimming devices have been found that slip inside the card slot.)
Instead, when a customer inserts a credit or debit card and provides PIN codes or passwords, the skimmer records the information on the magnetic strip of the card. The skimmer may use a hidden camera to get the PIN code. The skimmer passes on the information to the ATM, or allows the card to pass it on, but then uses the information to remove money from the account connected with the card.
Skimming devices, to be effective, are created with extreme care, and it can be difficult for ATM users to spot them (at the bottom of this article are links to Web pages that give advice on spotting skimmers).
The same man was back the next day and used phony cards to make numerous transactions at the same ATM machine, removing money from various accounts. A total of $2,500 to $3,000 was taken.
The man is described as light-skinned, wearing a dark navy jacket with a logo over the left side of the chest, wearing sunglasses and a tan baseball cap.
- How to Spot and Avoid Credit Card Skimmers (PC Magazine, April 5, 2016)
- Four Tips to Protect You from ATM Thieves (Bankrate.com)
- How to Spot ATM and Pin Skimming Devices (Ossian Bank)
- All About Skimmers (Krebs on Security blog, 2010 to 2016 — more than you probably want to know, and much of it depressing)
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