ATM Skimming Incidents Increase

Reports of ATM fraud incidents continue to rise.

Criminals hit ATMs in two states over the recent holidays to skim account numbers and PINs from customers in North Carolina and Florida, according to police.

In Raleigh, NC, 300 members of State Employees Credit Union had money skimmed from their accounts. The skimmer may have been placed at a gas station, say police. SECU is second largest credit union in the U.S., with $18.4 billion in assets.

"This type of thing happens all the time, unfortunately," says Leanne Phelps, senior vice president of SECU's card and record services department. She says SECU members need to pay careful attention to their bank activity and credit card statements and report any irregularities or suspicions to police and the credit union. "Any time you're using a device anywhere, using your card, look for something unusual," she says.

Skimming devices are often color coordinated, making them difficult to spot on ATMs. Finding the skimming device on a gas pump is virtually impossible as it is often hidden on the inside. SECU officials say the recent thefts likely happened at gas stations -- not by using ATMs. It is not yet clear if other banks or customers in the Raleigh area were affected.

Sun Trust Branches Hit

Police in Naples, FL say a man who was suspected of placing a skimming device on an ATM at a Naples bank struck again at another Sun Trust Bank location. The same man is suspected of placing a skimming device on a Sun Trust Bank on Nov. 12, then another one at a different Sun Bank on Nov. 27, and then again on Dec. 12. It is not known how many card numbers the man may have taken in the three acts, but several customers later reported fraudulent charges on their debit cards on the east coast of Florida. Sun Trust Bank is headquartered in Atlanta, GA and has assets of $189 billion.

About the Author

Linda McGlasson

Linda McGlasson

Managing Editor

Linda McGlasson is a seasoned writer and editor with 20 years of experience in writing for corporations, business publications and newspapers. She has worked in the Financial Services industry for more than 12 years. Most recently Linda headed information security awareness and training and the Computer Incident Response Team for Securities Industry Automation Corporation (SIAC), a subsidiary of the NYSE Group (NYX). As part of her role she developed infosec policy, developed new awareness testing and led the company's incident response team. In the last two years she's been involved with the Financial Services Information Sharing Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), editing its quarterly member newsletter and identifying speakers for member meetings.

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