EPD: Possible "Skimming Device" Found Inside Bank ATM

The Evansville Police Department's Bunco Fraud unit is investigating a strange device found inside an ATM at the Fifth Third bank branch in the 24-hundred block of Washington Avenue on Thursday. The device, which was comprised of a magnet and tin foil, is believed to be potentially be a "skimming device" although detectives admit its something they have never seen before.

Fifth Third staff discovered the device Thursday during a daily check of the ATM. Because the machines are serviced daily, bank staff believes the "skimming device" was possibly installed in the machine between 11am on Wednesday and 2pm on Thursday.

"Our Bunco Fraud guys have looked at it. At this point, they're not 100 percent sure how this device was intended to operate," said Evansville Police Sgt. Jason Cullum. "It's not something they have seen here before."

Skimming devices or skimming cards allow thieves to capture an unknowing victim's credit card information when he or she swipes a card. These devices are most often found on ATMs or gas pumps.

"[The device] is something that doesn't belong. That they know. At this point, they have not identified any personal information that has been compromised," Sgt. Cullum said. "They are not sure if this device did anything while it was in the machine."

In an incident report, the responding officer described the device as a magnet that was shaped like a credit card. The card was wrapped in aluminum foil with a small tag protruding from the end. The tag might have been where some wiring was but was ripped out when the offender or offenders tried to remove the card from the ATM, according to the report.

"If this is some type of device that has been used in other areas, that's something we might learn in this investigation. That's something we will be able to warn banks and customers about," Sgt. Cullum said. "The next time it happens, we'll have a better idea of what we're dealing with."

Bank staff said they will conduct an audit and review surveillance video from the camera mounted inside the ATM. In general, consumers worried that their credit card information was captured by a skimmer should contact their bank right away. It's also strongly advised to download your bank's mobile app so bank statements can be reviewed in real time.

"As technology has evolved so too have the criminals," Sgt. Cullum said.


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