Police issue warning about card skimmers on ATMs

Skimming devices found in three different locations

Financial crimes Det. Sgt. Derek Tolmie shows off the ATM card skimmers recently seized by Victoria police.

The next time you go to use an ATM in Victoria, police suggest giving the card reader a tug before inserting your card.

In the last six weeks, officers have seized various ATM card skimmers from privately-owned ATMs in three different locations throughout the city. The locations, however, aren’t being named to protect the ongoing investigation but police said they were in isolated, high traffic areas with not a lot of video monitoring.

According to financial crimes Det. Sgt. Derek Tolmie, the card skimmers are placed over regular card input slots, collect financial data from the cards, then pass the information onto fraudsters.

One of the devices, which Tolmie called the least sophisticated of the three, is a part made for a legitimate ATM that was altered by criminals, but looks legitimate from the outside. On the back is a battery that powers the skimmer and captures data from the card as it goes into the ATM. Sticky tape keeps everything in place.

“You can actually pull this off with very little effort,” said Tolmie. “If you go up to your ATM machine and make it a practice to actually give it a good tug, if it doesn’t come off, chances are it’s a legitimate ATM that you’re using. If you pull this off, give me a call.”

The second skimmer found by police is a bit more sophisticated, explained Tolmie, in that the chip is a bit smaller, the battery is smaller and the wiring is more professional.

The most sophisticated operation Tolmie has seen thus far is a combination of a skimmer and a small camera that looks like a nondescript piece of the ATM facade on the outside. On the inside, however, is a camera with two batteries that captured three to four hours of people entering their pin numbers on an ATM.

Police were made aware of the skimmers after they were discovered by the ATM owners.

“We know that this has been going on in our community. We are a tourist-oriented region,” said Tolmie, noting any victims would most likely be compensated by their financial institutions. “We have received, on certain dates, information from different financial institutions that they’ve had compromises, but at the end of the day, this is concrete proof.”

Anyone with information about is asked to call 250-995-7654.

editor@vicnews.com

 

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Felix Townsin, shown here with his sister, Lexi, who died on Oct. 19, 2019. Felix is a big part of a family initiative aimed at finding a cure for Blau Syndrome. (Photo contributed by the Townsin family)
Quest to cure Blau syndrome a family affair

John Stubbs student produces film for late little sister Lexi

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Newly public Emily Carr painting depicts well-known Victoria view

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

An incident on Sooke Road is slowing traffic Wednesday evening. (Courtesy of Mona Hazeldine)
Sooke Road incident snarls evening traffic

Witnesses report two-vehicle collision

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Soccer player Ethan Finnigan juggles the ball at Oak Bay High. The Grade 12 student was injured much of last year and was relying on his senior year to score a scholarship and play at university. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
High school athletes remain on sidelines across B.C.

Recruiting for university on hiatus, future unknown

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Oct. 27

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

MMFN First Nation has said that it will restrict access to portion of Highway 28 that passes through the Nation’s land until a road use agreement is reached. (Black Press file photo)
Vancouver Island First Nation blocks highway access to logging trucks in Gold River

Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation restricting access for Western Forest Products pending road deal

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

Cowichan Search and Rescue set up near the Silver Bridge in Duncan on Wednesday morning, Oct. 28, 2020 to rescue a dog from the Cowichan River. (Citizen file)
Cowichan Search and Rescue save dog from icy Cowichan River

Search and Rescue’s swiftwater team was called in

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

Most Read