Officers with Columbus Police Department are searching for an individual alleged to have stolen more than $1,000 from a dozen transactions at three different bank automatic teller machines over the weekend.
The suspect apparently withdrew cash from the three ATMs using forged ATM cards, according to a CPD press release. Chief Fred Shelton said the suspect likely cloned the cards by placing a device on local ATMs that copies information, a process called “ATM skimming.”
“There is a small camera to capture ATM pin numbers and then the card itself has a magnetic stripe with the account information on it that is copied,” Shelton said in the press release. “It is very sophisticated and difficult to spot since the equipment is mounted directly on an ATM. We have alerted banks in the area to check their machines, but we also want the public to be aware. In these cases, the ATM card was copied, so customers still have their original card; the copy was used, the card was not lost.”
Police have released surveillance video from one of the banks taken Sunday morning and are asking for help identifying the individual on the video. Shelton emphasized Wednesday that the ATM in the video is not one of the ATMs compromised.
“The ATM shown in the video released today is not the ATM where cards were skimmed,” he said. “The ATM shown in the video is where the suspect withdrew the cash, not where the card numbers were stolen from. The case is still under investigation.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Golden Triangle Crime Stoppers at 1-800-530-7151.
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