With last minute Christmas shoppers out this week, area police departments are reminding people to be aware of their surroundings. This is especially true at ATMs.
Bethel Police are searching for a man who placed a card skimming device on an ATM this summer. The man's DNA was linked to a device placed on an ATM in Manhattan around the same time and the suspect was caught on tape. Police do not believe anyone's data was stolen because the device stored the information locally and it was intercepted by police.
Bethel Police spokesman Lt Michael Libertini says it's tough to tell if there's a skimming device on an ATM because the criminals often match the color, shape and size of the card reader.
It's usually a two part device. The skimmer captures the information off of the magnetic strip of the debit card. Then there is a camera that would record you entering your pin number.
National bank chains say typical ATM skimmer devices are smaller than a deck of cards and fit over existing car readers. The cameras can be hidden in brochure boxes attached to the side of ATMs or placed in plastic bars that would go above the screen on ATMs. Some criminals install fake pin pads over the actual keyboard to capture the pin directly, bypassing the need for a camera.