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Thieves Target Alexandria ATMs Using Cameras, Skimmers | News

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Thieves Target Alexandria ATMs Using Cameras, Skimmers

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA) -- Video of thieves show how they set up a camera and skimming device on an ATM.

The video was released by the LINK, the company connecting ATMs throughout the UK. It's exactly what criminals are doing in the greater Washington area.

The ATM a Suntrust bank on Beauregard Street was hit, and the Wachovia Bank along King Street in Alexandria was targeted back in February.

"The bank had over 60-thousand dollars worth of fraud," said Jody Donaldson, Commander of Media Services for Alexandria Police.

He said thieves custom make skimming devices to place over ATM card inserts. Customers credit and debit cards are swiped twice. Once "by the skimmer and by the ATM itself," Donaldson said.

To get the PIN number, thieves attach a camera to the ATM.

"They're tiny, they can be the size on a pencil head," he said.

He said customers will notice something different about the ATM if they take a close look.

"Check where you're going to put your card in. Shake it and make sure nothing is loose. Make sure the parts are the same color," he said.

Donaldson says people should shield their PIN numbers with their other hand. But he said some thieves can still get PIN numbers by using a clear, plastic pin pad overlay.

"Rub your hand over it before you insert your card. Take your fingernail or a device and see if anything is loose. You'll be able to find it if it is," Donaldson said.

Written by Lindsey Mastis
9NEWS NOW & wusa9.com