GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Grand Rapids police are warning residents to be on the lookout the next time they use an ATM.
The police department posted a message on its Facebook page, "In the last couple weeks, we are seeing an activity in the Kent County area known as 'ATM Skimming.' This is an older technology theft technique, but it's the first time we've seen it used in our area."
Here is how the scam works:
-- Crooks put a card reader on ATMs
-- When a customer puts his/her ATM card in the ATM slot, the reader sends the card number to the crooks who then get the customer's PIN using a hidden camera as the number is entered
-- Crooks make a duplicate card and raid the customer's bank account
Police released a picture describing what ATM users should look for to avoid becoming victims of this scam.
"Take a second to examine your ATM before you use it and we can end this activity in this area. When ATMs are skimmed, it's usually clear that something is not right about how the ATM looks. If you have any questions about a specific ATM, you can call the bank to have them take a look at it," the Facebook message continued.
In early August 24 Hour News 8 reported that Detroit police released photos of five men who they say are responsible for stealing about $500,000 using this kind of scam.
Grand Rapids police said their Financial Crimes Team is investigating all reports of ATM skimming and local banks "are aware that this is going on...several already have teams checking their equipment."
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