LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. – Police are warning ATM users to be cautious when withdrawing money in metro Atlanta.
Lawrenceville police detectives are seeking information to help identify a group of people who have been placing card skimming devices on ATMs in Lawrenceville and other areas of metro Atlanta over the past month.
A bank employee first alerted police after finding a skimmer on their ATM. After discovering the second one, police learned the suspects have been targeting multiple banks in the metro-Atlanta area.
Surveillance video shows the same group in a white Ford Fusion--possibly as old as a 2006 model--with temporary tags, installing the skimming devices during the day and also at night.
“[The suspects] approached the ATM as if they were completing a transaction. They scoured the area to make sure no one is watching,” Det. Kevin Dyals with Lawrenceville Police said.
The skimmer is attached with sticky tape where the card reader is located. The skimmers used consist of two parts--one part is the piece that attaches where your card goes, and the other part has a small camera that attaches above the keyboard in order to capture you typing your PIN.
“[The skimmers] communicate with Bluetooth,” Dyals said. “The perpetrators would be sitting somewhere nearby in an adjacent parking lot capturing the information as its sent to them.”
The moment the card is used, the suspects gain the personal information from it.
Dyals said the suspects can then use the card’s information to make online purchases, and they can also encode the information onto any magnetic strip card.
There are four jurisdictions involved in this skimming case, so far, and the thieves have, so far, stolen $85,000 from victims' accounts just since Dyals has been investigating.
It is never a bad idea to double check the machine. Dyals said a slight tug on the card device may reveal whether it is authentic. The skimmers are often attached only with double-sided tape, he said, and may come off easily.
Anyone with any information on the suspects or vehicle in the photos below are asked to call the Lawrenceville Police Department at 770 963-2443.