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PHOTO: Police Alert for ATM Skimming Crew Working in Northwest Suburbs

Tue March 20 2012 5:35 am  http://www.arlingtoncardinal.com/?p=51721
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Arlington Heights police alert citizens of a male subject wanted in reference for the unlawful use of a debit card. The male subject may be associated with Eastern European ATM skimming crews working in the Northwest Suburbs.

Any citizens with information related to this suspect are urged to call Arlington Heights Police Investigator Radek at 847-368-5354.


On most modern ATMs, the customer is identified by inserting a plastic ATM card with a magnetic stripe or a plastic smartcard with a chip, that contains a unique card number and some security information, such as an expiration date or CVVC (CVV). Authentication is provided by the customer entering a personal identification number (PIN).

Instances of skimming have been reported where the offenders put a device over the card slot of a ATM (automated teller machine), which reads the magnetic strip as the user unknowingly passes their card through it. A mobile phone camera can be used as a PIN capturing device, with the image information then transmitted via the wireless device. These devices are also sometimes used in conjunction with a pinhole camera attached to a brochure holder near the ATM to read the user’s PIN at the same time that the skimming device is capturing the magnetic strip information on the credit card.

Skimming is difficult for the typical ATM user to detect because many devices are built into fascia that is made to fit over the ATM; but given a large enough sample, it is fairly easy for the card issuer to detect after the crime has occurred, even if it is not from a single ATM machine. The issuer collects a list of all the cardholders who have complained about fraudulent transactions, and then uses data mining to discover relationships among credit card customers and the merchants they use. For example, if many of the cardholders use a particular merchant, that merchant can be directly investigated. Sophisticated algorithms can also search for patterns of fraud.

Skimming suspect (surveillance image).


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IMPORTANT NOTE: All persons referred to as subjects, defendants, offenders or suspects, etc. are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


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