Police: ATM Skimming is on the Rise

Fairfax County police are still investigating a reported skimmed ATM machine but still no arrests.

Fairfax County police still haven’t arrested anyone involved with placing a skimmer on an ATM at the Inova Fairfax Hospital Cardiac Care Center in August but they have been plenty busy investigating similar cases.

Over the last 18 months, Lucy Caldwell, spokeswoman for the agency, said detectives have investigated about 600 cases in the “skimmed cards” category and the number is climbing.

“When we say skimmed, we include cases where skimmings occurred at ATMs as well as where the skimming took place at other venues,” she said.

In late August, police say a skimming device was placed on an ATM inside the hospital. Caldwell said thousands of dollars were stolen from accounts that were breached because of the device. It’s unknown exactly how many people were affected by the crime but Caldwell said police are still investigating.

Individuals using ATMs, even at a bank, should check the machine they’re using, said Caldwell. Some banks are checking their own ATMs, she said, but customers should ask if their banks are one of the participants in the advanced security. Caldwell said people should always check their bank statements to make sure their cards aren’t being used fraudulently.

“They can pull on slots where cards enter the machine, any attachment or cover which looks like an add-on feature,” Caldwell said. “Nothing on an ATM should be removable. If something is removed, contact your bank and the local police.”

Police say this crime is on the rise and they urge people that have used the ATM machine in late August through Sept. 12, 2012 to check their statements closely. If there is a discrepancy, people should contact their bank and police at 703-691-2131. They may also make an online report or learn more about financial crime scams at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police/financialcrimes/.


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