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Crooks using skimmers and pin-capturing devices on ATMs

Ken Kleinlein

Ken Klein­lein

By Ken Kleinlein

Crime Scene

ENGLEWOOD, Fla. – Crim­i­nals are using a remov­able card slot called a trap or skim­ming device attached to ATM machines. It ille­gally pro­vides access to a victim’s bank account and credit or debit card numbers.

Another device that cap­tures per­sonal iden­ti­fi­ca­tion num­bers (PIN) is also in use by the crooks. When attached to ATMs, these devices appear to be nat­ural parts of the machine. Use of these devices dra­mat­i­cally increased dur­ing the recent holidays.

Roman­ian charged in N.J. for ATM skimming

In Newark, N.J., fed­eral author­i­ties charged a Roman­ian man with mas­ter­mind­ing of a large-scale ATM skim­ming oper­a­tion that stole mil­lions of dol­lars from thou­sands of U.S. bank cus­tomers, accord­ing to the Asso­ci­ated Press.

He was arrested Sept. 24 in Swe­den and extra­dited to New Jer­sey to face bank fraud con­spir­acy, aggra­vated iden­tity theft and other charges.

The report said there are 13 defen­dants in the case.

Crooks report­edly put pin­hole cam­eras and skim­ming devices on ATMs to steal some $5 mil­lion from accounts in New Jer­sey, New York, Con­necti­cut and Florida.

To spot a skim­mer check:

  • Light defuser area
  • Speaker area
  • ATM side fascia
  • Card reader entry slot
  • ATM key­board

Look for a Pin Cap­tur­ing Device:

  • In the brochure holder on the side wall
  • ATM key­board
  • Check to see if a bar has been placed on the top of the screen dis­play (dif­fi­cult to detect).

Be vig­i­lant! Pro­tect your information:

  • Famil­iar­ize your­self with the look of the ATM.
  • Inspect the unit for any­thing that looks unusual or sus­pi­cious. If you feel uncom­fort­able go to another machine.
  • When enter­ing your PIN always shield the key­board with your hand.
  • Report any irreg­u­lar­i­ties to law enforce­ment and the bank concerned.

Last Roll Call

NYPD Offi­cers Rafael Ramos and Wen­jian Liu were killed in the line of duty. They were ambushed, shot, and exe­cuted by a cow­ard named Ismaaily Brins­ley as they sat in their patrol car at the inter­sec­tion of Tomp­kins and Myr­tle avenues within the con­fines of the 79th Precinct in Brook­lyn, N.Y. Brins­ley then took the coward’s way out and com­mit­ted sui­cide by shoot­ing himself.

He has an exten­sive police record and had pre­vi­ously shot and wounded his for­mer girl­friend in a Bal­ti­more sub­urb. It has been reported that in thempast he had tried to hang himself.

Inves­ti­ga­tion revealed that Brins­ley was linked to a vio­lent jail gang named the Black Guer­rilla Fam­ily who have vowed to kill police offi­cers in retal­i­a­tion for recent events.

I spent my first four years in the NYPD as a police offi­cer assigned to the 79 Pct.

This inci­dent brings back unpleas­ant mem­o­ries of my time as a detec­tive in the 1970s inves­ti­gat­ing the Black Lib­er­a­tion Army, whose mis­sion was to kill police officers.

Tar­pon Springs Police Offi­cer Charles Kon­dek was respond­ing to a call of an indi­vid­ual harass­ing ten­ants in an apart­ment com­plex and was shot and killed. The per­pe­tra­tor, Marco Anto­nio Par­illa was appre­hended a short dis­tance away after crash­ing his vehi­cle while attempt­ing to escape. Char­lie Kon­dek had served five years in the NYPD before join­ing the Tar­pon Springs PD.

Please pray for the fam­i­lies of these officers.

Good Police Work

  • The Sara­sota Sheriff’s Office affected 13 arrests of an orga­nized gang of shoplifters in a Hol­i­day Retail Theft Operation.
  • The Venice Police Depart­ment, after an in-depth inves­ti­ga­tion, arrested two teens who were run­ning a pros­ti­tu­tion ring that used high school stu­dents as call girls.

Take care, be care­ful, and I’ll see you at the next Crime Scene

God bless and pro­tect our mil­i­tary, police offi­cers, and firefighters!

Have a happy, healthy, and pros­per­ous 2015.

Ken Klein­lein is a for­mer detec­tive with the NYPD spe­cial frauds squad and coor­di­nates with local, state, and fed­eral law enforce­ment along with accred­ited secu­rity com­pa­nies on mat­ters of crime pre­ven­tion and pub­lic information.

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