CHICAGO (CBS) — 14 skimmers have now been found on ATMs around Chicago, including at some of the biggest and busiest banks and stores.
Now, those businesses are taking action to stop thieves from getting anyone’s personal information.
CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports from where the latest skimmer was found on Monday.
Police don’t know how long the skimmer was attached to the ATM at the Walgreens near Western and North Avenue — or if customers’ accounts had been hacked. But they say the device was attached to the machine and is capable of stealing information from customers debit and credit cards.
“It’s concerning,” Elizabeth Castaneda said, who uses that specific ATM machine several times a month. “I haven’t noticed anything too usual, but I’ll go back and look with a finer tooth comb though.”
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In the last month, skimmers have been found at nine Walgreen stores throughout the city, but other locations have also been hit. A 711 on the southeast side, a Chase Bank, an Associated Bank and two Fifth Third Banks were also targeted.
Experts say criminals may manage to install the devices when the retailers and banks aren’t very busy, when clerks are distracted, or, in some cases, they’ll create a distraction.
“If it’s gang group of people — organized — maybe they issue a distraction, cause a ruckus, and then somebody can slip it on,” said Jeremy Hajek, a professor at Illinois Institute of Technology.
Police are trying to determine if the the hits are organized criminals or individuals. They’re in the process of collecting fingerprints at the ATMs and advising all retailers to check their machines. Customers are also being urged to take precautions, from tugging on the slot to make sure it’s secure, to lowering your debit card limit.
“You can limit withdrawals to $50 a day,” Hajek said. “Even if your card was compromised, the most you could lose would be $50.”
Banks officials say customers are not liable for any fraud and accounts will be reimbursed. That, however, does take time, as victims of fraud have to wait on the bank to complete the investigation.
Walgreens is inspecting all of its ATMs in the city as a result of these skimming crimes.