The Marco Island Police Department is advising the public of an organized scheme to defraud involving automated teller machines (ATM’s) that has affected numerous bank customers in the area. MIPD was notified by two Marco Island residents of fraudulent electronic withdrawals from their bank accounts. This fraudulent activity occurred approximately July 29th and 30th of this year and involved subjects making unauthorized withdrawals from an ATM in the state of Connecticut. Investigation reveals that a skimming device is believed to have been placed on the ATM of a local branch banking facility from June 6th to June 9th of this year which aided the violators in securing debit card information necessary to further their fraudulent activity.
These “skimmers” are placed over the ATM card slot on the machine. When a customer inserts their ATM card it slides through the ”skimmer” simultaneously copying the account information on the magnetic strip as well as the customer’s PIN number once entered. This information is retrieved from the “skimmer” once it is removed from the ATM, fraudulent cards are produced with the customer information, and these cards are utilized to withdraw cash from the customer’s accounts.
Tips to avoid this scam:
- Immediately alert law enforcement and bank officials if any equipment similar to the photos attached appear to be placed on an ATM;
- Immediately alert law enforcement and bank officials when it appears that someone may be tampering with any ATM;
- Cover the keyboard with your hand or some other object when entering your PIN;
- Be diligent in checking your bank statements for any suspicious transactions.
To date, all local victims of this scheme to defraud have been credited the full amount of monies taken from their accounts by the bank involved. All victims of this scheme to defraud are urged to contact MIPD as soon as possible to assist in the investigation that has been initiated by federal authorities as a multi-jurisdiction criminal complaint.
Marco Island Police Department:
Non Emergency (239) 389-5050
Images (provided by Collier County Sheriff’s Office) of a skimming device are attached to this release. All persons are asked to remain vigilant to such fraud and to be particularly aware of the ATM machine covers, looking for such indications of card reader capture devices.