Police warn of compromised ATMs at Saanich banks

Saanich police have discovered multiple machines that have been modified to record a user’s PIN. A false front to the machines incorporated either a camera or a device to record keypad strokes.

  • Sep. 13, 2011 7:00 p.m.

Police are warning bank ATM users to be extra cautious, as fraudsters are stealing people’s debit card information in Greater Victoria.

Saanich police have discovered multiple machines that have been modified to record a user’s PIN. A false front to the machines incorporated either a camera or a device to record keypad strokes.

Sgt. Dean Jantzen won’t say how many tampered machines have been identified locally or where they are located. However, he said police are making headway in tracking down the individuals involved.

“There is footage of the people who are doing this, and that’s forming part of our investigation,” he said.

In certain cases, small pinhole cameras are installed above a PIN pad to record you entering your PIN. This would also require somebody watching the video nearby on a laptop.

In other cases, machines are being compromised by a false card reader being installed on the outside of the machine, which downloads debit information electronically.

Jantzen says bank users should report any suspicious activity to police or the bank. Specifically be on the alert for any individuals sitting in a bank parking lot looking at a laptop, or if the face of your ATM looks strange.

“Do something. If something catches your attention, let us know,” Jantzen said.

So far, the only ATMs that have been targeted are the ones at banking institutions – both inside and outside. Small corner store ATMs have been targeted in the past.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

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