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Police: 2 Suspects Used ATM Skimming Device To Steal Account Numbers

By Aaron Kraut

Tuesday - 9/24/2013, 1:00pm  ET

What an ATM skimmer could look like, via Krebs On Security ATM skimmer suspect, via MCP ATM skimmer suspect, via MCP ATM skimmer suspect, via MCP

Montgomery County Police say two men have been using skimming devices to steal bank account numbers at an ATM in Bethesda and an ATM in Chevy Chase.

Detectives from the Department’s Financial Crimes Section are investigating multiple incidents at the same two locations since mid-August. Police say the two men in the surveillance photos above placed a device on the ATMs, where it recorded account numbers.

The account numbers were later used fraudulently, according to police.

Skimmer devices are hard to notice on ATMs. The device can be seamlessly attached on to the bank card slot on the machine.

Police are offering a number of tips to avoid the skimming when using a credit card reader at an ATM or gas pump:

  • Inspect the ATM, gas pump, or credit card reader before using it.  Be suspicious if you notice that any parts are loose, crooked, or damaged or if you notice scratches or adhesive or tape residue on the device.
  • When entering your pin, block the keypad with your other hand to prevent possible hidden cameras from recording your number.
  • If possible, use an ATM that is located inside of the bank as these machines are less accessible to criminals to install skimmers.
  • If the ATM is located inside the bank and your card is required to access the inside, check the card reader prior to swiping your card.
  • Use caution when using ATMs in tourist areas.  These machines are popular targets of skimmers.
  • If your card is not returned after the transaction or after hitting “cancel”, immediately contact the financial institution that issued the card.
  • Beware of “shoulder surfers” – individuals behind you who may be looking over your shoulder to obtain your PIN number.

Police are asking anyone with information regarding the suspects’ identity is asked to contact the Financial Crimes Section at 240-773-6330.  Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477) or leave a Crime Solvers tip here.  Crime Solvers will pay a cash reward of up to $10,000 for information provided to them that leads to an arrest and/or indictment for this felony crime.

Photos via MCP and Krebs on Security