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Local

ATM security compromised at Batavia, Fox Valley banks

Police warn people to check for the use of skimmers and pinhole cameras at bank ATMs.
Police warn people to check for the use of skimmers and pinhole cameras at bank ATMs.

BATAVIA – Two people were photographed allegedly placing skimmers and pinhole cameras on ATMs in three communities June 4, including the Old Second Bank at 1991 W. Wilson St. in Batavia.

Batavia Detective Thomas Doggett said the Old Second bank manager checked the bank's outermost ATM on June 4 after Aurora police reported that skimmers and cameras apparently were put in place that day by a man and a woman at banks in Aurora and Yorkville. One was found there. The equipment is used to steal credit card, debit card and PIN information.

Doggett said Old Second called Batavia police again June 6 after reviewing camera footage that showed a skimmer also was put in place June 3. He said skimmers periodically are removed by criminals so they can retrieve the data.

He said police have both the Old Second Bank skimmer and the pinhole camera that records one's PIN identification, adding that the equipment looks like the type used in Aurora, and the male subject caught on bank surveillance in both towns appears to be the same.

"The bank has canceled all the cards they can identify were possibly skimmed during that time frame and notified the account holders," Doggett said.

In Aurora, the devices were found at banks on North Farnsworth Avenue and North Orchard Road, according to Aurora police. People can view the suspects' photos at facebook.com/AuroraPolice. Anyone who can help identify them or may have information is asked to call Investigations at 630-256-5500 or Aurora Area Crime Stoppers at 630-892-1000.

The Aurora police department advises people planning to use an ATM to first inspect them. The skimmer, which is smaller than a deck of cards, is designed to slip over the machine’s actual card reader. The pinhole camera can be incorporated into the skimmer or placed on top of the ATM or just to the side inside a plastic case that may contain brochures or other materials. The camera captures the PIN as the numbers are punched in by the ATM user. Instead of tiny cameras, criminals sometimes use fake number pads installed over the actual keyboards to record the PIN.

It was a bank customer who discovered the skimmer on Farnsworth Avenue because it was loose and the card didn’t fit correctly, the Aurora release stated. To spot tampering, the police suggest looking at the top of the machine, near the speakers, the side of the screen, card reader and keypad. Watch for different colors or materials, or graphics that don’t line up. If something doesn’t seem right, call the police.

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