Keep a watchful eye the next time you swipe your debit card, or…
Updated: Friday, 09 Apr 2010, 6:59 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 28 Jan 2010, 4:15 PM EST
LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - One Old National Bank location was compromised by an automated teller machine (ATM) "skimming device" earlier this month, a spokeswoman confirmed Thursday.
A handful of local residents were affected, she said, but the bank has been able to secure the information of any debit cards that may have been compromised.
The spokesperson declined to give the exact location of the ATM, but two WLFI viewers said they had money stolen from their bank accounts after using the Old National ATM on Creasy Lane in Lafayette this month.
On Monday, officials at Fifth Third Bank learned that a similar device had been placed on an ATM at its location on State Road 26 East, a spokeswoman told WLFI Wednesday.
Thieves place these skimming devices over the card reader of an ATM machine, so that they can steal customers' debit card information. They usually install a pinhole camera nearby to spy on people's PIN numbers. With this information, they can create copies of the cards and use them at ATMs or credit card machines anywhere.
"It's a weird feeling to know that you're going about your daily business and not even know you're being robbed," said Randy Lee, a Lafayette resident.
Lee was unable to withdraw $40 from his bank account Saturday, where the ATM he used told him that he had surpassed his daily withdrawal limit, of $500. Upon further investigation, he discovered two transactions made on his account earlier that day: one for $303 and another for $203, both made more than two hours away, in Chicago.
"If I wouldn't have caught it, they would have taken everything," he said.
Indeed, after he froze his debit card last weekend, his bank notified him that someone had used his debit card to make a balance inquiry Sunday.
It was a similar story for Amy Cochran, a Battle Ground resident who works at Purdue University. She was doing some online banking Tuesday when she noticed three transactions that looked suspicious.
"$1100 is what the total amounts to," she said. "And they did it immediately. Two of them were done at the same bank, and when they looked it up they were done relatively back-to-back."
The Lafayette Police Department is working with the Secret Service to investigate the crimes, according to sources from the police department and Old National Bank. While the investigation is underway, they cannot give out any further information.
The robbery victims who spoke to WLFI said they will be reimbursed by their banks.
If you notice any suspicious charges on your bank statement, be sure to contact your bank or call the 800 number on the back of your debit card.