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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - A 22-year-old Illinois man faces two felony charges for allegedly skimming account information and money from ATMs in the Kent County area.
Dontae Kaaba Collins was arraigned on Aug. 30. Two days before that, he was arrested after a credit card complaint call came from the Speedway gas station on Alpine Avenue in Alpine Township.
When police arrived, police said, Collins had three gift cards, no identification and admitted not owning cards.
Investigators determined the cards had altered data on their magnetic strips, and those cards belonged to victims in this area.
Officials with Fifth Third Bank told authorities they were aware of skimming devices being put on their ATMs in both Wyoming and Grandville, which lets criminals access people's account information.
"The PIN is sometimes captured by a little camera that is part of the device," said Kent County Sheriff's Det. Aron Bowser.
The skimmers then retrieved the devices, authorities said, and transferred the information onto pre-paid gift cards to make withdraws from an account using a correct PIN.
Among those accounts compromised were three people's cards that Collins allegedly had in his possession.
This widespread skimming between the Grand Rapids and Chicago area is believed to be more than $100,000.
A second suspect is still being sought by the Kent County Sheriff's Department, the Chicago Police Department and the US Secret Service.
Collins is being held on a $100,000 bond at the Kent County Correctional Facility. If convicted, he faces four years in prison on each charge of possession and use of a fraudulent transaction device.
Tips to avoid ATM skimming:
Familiarize yourself with any ATM you regularly use
Look for unusual markings, cuts, cracks, glue residue or exposed wires
Check the card entry slot -- could it have another "device" attached? Is the green light flashing?
Check for a keypad overlay
Check for a hidden camera
Look for new or abnormal devices
Cover the keypad when entering your PIN
Check your bank statements often
Report anything suspicious to the bank or to police
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