Police searching for man who placed skimmer device at Sun Federal Credit Union ATM

The device was placed on the ATM between Sept. 20 and 22 at 4760 Monroe St. and was reported Nov. 1.

By Jay Skebba / The Blade
Mon, 02 Dec 2019 20:59:18 GMT

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Toledo Police are asking the community to help identify a man wanted for placing a skimming device on a local ATM.

Police released surveillance photos of a male suspect on their Facebook page Monday. According to the police report, the device was placed on the Sun Federal Credit Union ATM between Sept. 20 and 22 at 4760 Monroe St. The incident was reported Nov. 1.

The report shows the skimmer gained access to account and debit card information of numerous members. The bank reported a loss of $13,384.99.

Toledo Police spokesman Lt. Kevan Toney said these types of crimes do not happen often in Toledo.

"It comes up periodically and it's something new technology has tried to eliminate, but criminals do adapt," he said. "We see something pop up and the measures sometimes advance."

Dick Eppstein, president of the Better Business Bureau of Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan, said skimming devices are easy to obtain. Criminals will order them from the dark web or acquire them from other con artists.

New ATMs and gas pumps are tougher to hack than older models.

"For ATMs, especially the old ones, there's a gadget they slide into the slot for your card," Mr. Eppstein said. "That gadget stores your number or transmits it. Sometimes the bad guys will park a block away and may even have a little camera so they can see your PIN number."

A 2017 CNBC report shows ATM skimming is a $2 billion problem each year. Credit and debit card companies have implemented tougher security measures — such as chips built into the cards — but skimmers still exist.

Mr. Eppstein said they are more prevalent during the holidays.

"There's more transactions," he said. "A lot of people who don't shop very much are shopping during the holiday season, so the skimmers see more profits for them. Criminals look for ways to make money with little risk and skimmers are hard to catch. You can pull it out, but who put it in?"

Credit card companies use software to monitor suspicious purchases and contact their customers. However, some charges slip through the cracks.

Mr. Eppstein said it's important to pay attention to bank statements and monitor accounts digitally.

"Pull up your credit card statement literally right after you charge something," he said. "It will already be there. Pull it up on your PC or phone and verify your statement. You may see two charges for the same thing or a charge you never made. When you see that, call the number on the back of your card and report it."

Additionally, Mr. Eppstein said to look at an ATM or gas pump before inserting a card. If anything appears loose, do not insert your card, and notify management immediately. He said customers should cover up their debit card at an ATM machine in case of cameras planted by skimmers.