Card skimmers found on 4 ATMs in Eastern NC town

File photos from WNCT

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Police are working to find the person(s) responsible for installing card skimmers at four different Greenville First Citizen Bank ATM locations.

A Greenville Police Department spokeswoman said Tuesday that an employee at one of the branches discovered one of the malicious card readers as they were inspecting the ATM prior to the bank opening.

One of the card skimmers found on an ATM in Greenville. WNCT photo
One of the card skimmers found on an ATM in Greenville. WNCT photo

Skimmers grab data off your card’s magnetic stripe. They are typically designed to fit over the existing card reader. Most of the time, attackers will also place a hidden camera somewhere in the vicinity of the ATM with a view of the keypad in order to steal your PIN number.

In most cases, the perpetrator has to come back to the compromised machine to pick up the file containing your stolen data. With that information, he/she can create cloned cards or use your information to withdraw money from your account.

Police said because of the discovery and proactive actions of the bank employees, the perpetrator in Greenville wasn’t able to return to the locations to retrieve the skimmers containing the stolen data. Still, ATM users are encouraged to continue to monitor their accounts and report any suspicious activity directly to your bank.  Police said First Citizens Bank staff will also be monitoring account activity.

“I’m expecting to at least get some DNA possibly some fingerprints and maybe some electronic information too,” said Michael Staffelbach, of the Greenville Police Department.

Currently, it doesn’t appear that any personal information has been compromised. However, if you’ve used the ATM at any of the following locations within the last 24 hours, you should contact your bank:

  • First Citizens Bank 203 W 3rd St (252) 321-6450
  • First Citizens Bank 2405 Stantonsburg Rd (252) 321-6434
  • First Citizens Bank 1615 Greenville Blvd SE (252) 321-6470
  • First Citizens Bank 3109 S Memorial Dr (252) 321-6407

Greenville Police said you can take the following actions to avoid becoming a victim of skimming:

  • Inspect the ATM, gas pump, or credit card reader before using it. Be suspicious if you see anything loose, crooked, or damaged, or if you notice scratches or adhesive/tape residue.
  • When entering your PIN, block the keypad with your other hand to prevent possible hidden cameras from recording your number.
  • If possible, use an ATM at an inside location (less access for criminals to install skimmers).
  • Be careful of ATMs in tourist areas. They are a popular target of skimmers.
  • If your card isn’t returned after the transaction or after hitting “cancel,” immediately contact the financial institution that issued the card.

All bank branches are encouraged to regularly inspect their ATMs for abnormalities. Many banks already have set protocols in place.

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