Santa Barbara PD warns of ATM skimming devices at local banks
The Santa Barbara Police Department said detectives recently discovered several ATM skimmer devices at Bank of America ATMs across town and they believe officials have also targeted other communities along the way. the California coast.
Last month, the department said it had received nearly a dozen reports from Bank of America customers whose accounts had been compromised.
Police say they have continued to receive similar reports since then with fraudulent activity occurring as recently as last week.
They say more than $ 50,000 in fraudulent withdrawals have been confirmed to date.
Investigators believe customers using California Employment Development Department (EDD) debit cards are specifically targeted.
They say these cards usually don’t have an EMV security chip, and Bank of America manages and maintains all EDD accounts.
The criminals responsible would have obtained credit card account information embedded on the magnetic strip by “skimming” the strip on the back of the card when it is inserted into the ATM. At the same time, a hidden camera aimed at the PIN-pad captures the victim entering their security PIN code.
Investigators say the suspects retrieved the skimmers a day or two after installation, then downloaded the video and “cloned” the debit card information onto a blank debit card.
According to the police, the safest alternative to using an ATM is to speak to a bank teller in person or to transfer the funds to an account protected by an EMV chip card. They say never use an ATM that appears damaged or tampered with, and they recommend concealing the PIN pad with your other hand or something when entering your personal identification number into an ATM.
In Santa Barbara, anyone who has been the victim of this type of ATM theft can file a report on the website of the Santa Barbara Police Department.