October 26, 2017

October 26, 2017
Posted on 10/26/2017

skimming device on the ATM On October 25, 2017 the Hampden Township Police Department received a report of a skimming device on the ATM at the Citizen's Bank located at 4101 Carlisle Pk in Mechanicsburg. On October 23, 2017 the Mechanicsburg Borough Police Department received a report of a skimming device found on a gas pump at the Sun Up Market located at 101 N Market St in Mechanicsburg.

With the recent increase in suspected skimming activity, the Hampden Township Police Department wants to warn residents to be extra cautious when attempting to use any ATMs, gas pumps or other machines that require the use of a credit card to complete a purchase. In an effort to help citizens avoid being victim, the Hampden Township Police Department encourages everyone to use discretion and consider the following steps while utilizing such devices:

  • Inspect the device. If the ATM looks loose, scratched or tampered with, don't use it. Thieves will often attach false fronts to the ATM to capture your data. Tug on the device to feel if it is loose or out of place with the rest of the machine.
  • Cover the keys while entering your PIN. A lot of skimming devices utilize a pin-sized hole camera that is mounted underneath the top of the ATM. The camera is there to capture the ATM user typing their PIN. Since the scanner itself only captures the card information, the camera is used to capture your PIN. If you observe a tiny camera above the key pad, notify the business/bank immediately.
  • Keep an eye on your accounts. Most banks require account holders to notify the bank promptly after a fraudulent transaction has occurred; the longer you wait, the harder it may be to dispute. Keep a close eye on your account for any unfamiliar transactions and follow up with your bank if you recognize any unfamiliar charges. Additionally, after a skimming device is utilized, it may take weeks or months for your information to be used fraudulently; often times credit card information is stolen and later sold to another thief and this process may occur over a period of time.
  • When possible, choose credit over debit. In addition to avoiding the need to input your PIN, using a credit card instead of a debit card means using the bank's money and not your own. If your information is compromised, once you have proven you did not make the charges, you don't have to worry about waiting for the bank reimbursing those stolen funds from your personal bank account.
  • Don't assume all ATMs are the same. When possible, use ATM machines located within financial institutions; exterior and third party (private) ATMs are more susceptible to skimmers. Be particularly vigilant while on vacation as ATMs located in high tourist areas are prime targets.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Skimming devices can be both high and low tech. Often times thieves need to be close by to obtain the data captured by the skimming device; utilizing a laptop and an internet/bluetooth connection. Additionally, thieves may remain in the area to be able to quickly detach the device after it has been utilized by unassuming consumers. As simple as it may seem, thieves may also pose as customers just to be able to peek over your shoulder as you enter your PIN.
  • When in doubt, just don't use the ATM. Trust your gut, if something seems off, wait and find another one.
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