Salem Police detectives have arrested three juveniles on charges related to placing a skimming device on an Automated Teller Machine at a local Credit Union.
Recently, the Salem Police Department was notified by a potential victim that he located what he believed to be a skimming device on the ATM at Maps Credit Union at 4615 Commercial St SE. Detectives responded to investigate, and working closely with the business, located and detained three suspects.
The investigation has shown that a customer went on a Sunday morning to use the ATM and noticed that a vehicle at the ATM appeared to be there for an inordinate period of time. When the customer approached the ATM to conduct his business, he noticed that the slot on the machine where the ATM card is inserted looked unusual. He had heard about skimming devices and as a result pulled on the part that looked suspicious, and it came off. He then notified the Salem Police Department.
After being notified of the incident, Salem Police detectives responded to the scene to investigate. Their investigation led them to three juvenile suspects who were involved in the placement of the device on the ATM. All three juveniles reside in California and were released to the Marion County Juvenile Detention Facility in Salem. All are facing charges of Attempted Aggravated Identity Theft and Attempted Aggravated Theft in the First Degree.
As detectives continued with the investigation, they located several other skimming devices in the suspects' vehicle that investigators believe were being prepared to be placed at other locations, and investigators are inquiring to see if the same suspects were involved in a similar type of skimming incident at the Maps Credit Union in September, 2017 and in various other types of incidents throughout the region. Investigators are currently working with investigators from other agencies to determine if these suspects are responsible for other incidents as well. Further charges are pending.
The term "skimming" refers to a specific type of computer crime in which suspects use scanning devices disguised as legitimate card readers onto ATM machines, gas pumps and other devices where people insert credit and debit cards. The devices secretly obtain information from bank and credit cards that are passed through the device by unsuspecting customers using the ATM. There are also sometimes miniature cameras attached nearby to help capture PIN numbers. The suspects use the stolen information to commit additional crimes such as Identity Theft, Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card, Theft and other fraud-related crimes. Suspects who commit these types of crimes are referred to as "Skimmers," and it is estimated that skimmers cost US victims $1 Billion a year.
The Salem Police Department would like to remind those who use ATM or other machines that require a credit or debit card to be inserted to be aware of the machine in which they are intending to use. Photos of some skimmers are attached, but they can appear in different forms. Take a close look at the machine that you are thinking of using. Does anything look amiss? The color of the skimmers is sometimes different than other trim on the machine. Do the various parts of the machine match the other parts? Is there anything loose on the machine, particularly the area where the card is inserted? Sometimes skimming devices appear to stick out further than other parts of the machine. If there are other machines around, compare the machines to make sure they all look the same. Are any parts missing or different? If any irregularities are noticed, DO NOT use the machine. Leave and immediately contact the business management.
Be aware of your surroundings. Are there any people around who do not appear to have legitimate business there? Suspects may loiter in the area to monitor their skimmers. Look around the area of the machine for miniature cameras that may have been installed in order to capture your PIN number as it is being entered. If you are uncomfortable with your surroundings, immediately leave the area.
Source: Salem Police