Fake ATM Swiper Found at Newton Bank

Staff Writer

On 11 February 2018, officers from the Newton Police Department responded to First Citizens Bank located at 11 S. College Ave. in Newton in reference to a fraud. Upon arrival, officers met with a customer who stated that the ATM card reader “did not look right” when he started to use the ATM. The customer stated he pulled on the plastic housing around the card swipe area when it popped off into his hands. Officers examined the piece that came off and discovered it was a card reader used to capture credit and debit card information when the cards were swiped. The card reader looked identical to the original factory-installed card reader. The customer immediately reported the potential fraud to the bank’s 24 hours security services.
After reporting the fraud to the bank security services, officers received a call from bank security instructing them to check the ATM again for a small camera system. Officers performed a closer check of the ATM and discovered a fake cover had been placed over the area where cash was dispensed. When officers removed the fake cover from the cash dispenser, they discovered a small camera with a battery power supply. The fake cash dispenser cover had a small pin hole on the top which was directly under the key pad of the ATM. This allowed the camera to record the pin number used in correlation with the credit or debit card once the card was inserted in the machine.
According to Chief Don Brown, “First Citizens Bank customers are asked to monitor their bank statements and credit reports for any unauthorized purchases or abnormal charges for the next several months. In general, citizens should inspect all equipment that use credit and debit card readers. Citizens should also monitor their surroundings while performing their transaction. Often times card readers and cameras are placed on ATMs and fuel pumps in an out-of-the-way location. Often scammers place readers on fuel pumps that are on a side that faces away from store employees. Citizens are encouraged to check for tampering by performing a quick visual inspection of the machine and wiggling the area where the card is inserted into the machine. On newer ATMs, check around the check insert area and also around the key pad to ensure no fake pieces have been attached to the machine. If you suspect something unusual about an ATM or other device contact your local law enforcement agency.”
Based on ATM security camera footage, investigators believe the reader was placed on the First Citizens ATM Sunday, February 11th at 8:32 am. The suspect appears to be a black female driving a silver in color mini-van. Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Newton Police at 828-465-7430.