Bank Technicians Discover Scanning Devices on ATMs

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An article written by Rick Hurd, featured in the Valley Times Newspaper, dated Tuesday, September 27, 2011, focused on the ongoing problem of people “Stealing” customer’s PIN and ATM card numbers.  The article will follow in it’s entirety, but the underlying message is that it is the consumers’ responsibility to “Protect and Serve” their personal information.  There is no doubt, if you let your guard down, there are plenty of people that will take advantage of this void in your personal information protection, thus wrecking havoc within your personal finances.

Pleasant Hill, California – A routine ATM check at a bank on Contra Costa Boulevard turned up a reminder that you can never be quite sure who’s watching when money is pulled out of the machines.  Police are investigating how scanning devices became attached to two ATMs at Chase Bank, Pleasant Hill police Sergeant Lisa Hugdahl said.  Workers “Saw something they realized did not belong,” last week, Hugdahl said.  The devices were set up to record customers’ PIN and ATM card numbers.

Hugdahl said it was particularly concerning because the recording devices did not “Stand out.”  The ATM technicians almost did not see them at first, but as they looked closely, they realized there was something on the machines that did not belong.  A metal case, with a cellphone inside, blended into the ATM features.

The cellphone was the number-recording device.  The device had been recording for just over an hour when technicians reported them.  An investigation is ongoing, but police have no suspects.

We, as a people, have become so dependent on machines, “Smart” phones, computers, etc., that we forget that our transactions can be virtually traced by whomever and wherever.  Again, following the theme we are responsible for our own safety, cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN number.  It may mean you have to put down your Starbucks, but safety will win out in the long run.

Mr. Hurd may be reached at rhurd@bayareanewsgroup.com

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