On Friday, the city of Shawano Police Department received a call of two suspicious males near an ATM in the city. During the investigation, the males left the area, however the officers discovered a credit card skimmer attached to the ATM.
One skimmer was located at Premier Bank and another at CoVantage Credit Union. Police Chief Mark Kohl says that these skimmers are able to take information off of your credit card electronically.
“In the devices that we found, there is a micro chip in it, and that information is retained in a wireless database with another storage chip,” said Kohl, explaining how the skimmers work. “The criminals then have to return to the ATM location and pull the device off of the machine itself.”
Kohl adds that the card reader looks identical to the one used in the ATM, and they can be installed anywhere that a credit or debit card is used.
“We just ask that everyone take notice of where they are using their card. If there is any device that looks like it’s not stable, the integrity of it looks compromised, they should contact their banking institution, and also the location where the device is located.”
At this time, the Shawano Police recommend using cash or avoid paying for things using an unattended credit card machine, as well as being aware of your credit card statements.
“We encourage the citizens to go and check their card information online daily,” Kohl said, as a measure to help prevent this criminal activity. “Especially now if you’re going to use your card frequently, check it online and you can see the transactions on a very up to date, timely manner.”
Investigations reveal that charges using the stolen card information usually aren’t noticed until a couple weeks after it’s been stolen, which is why out of place purchases or withdrawals should be a red flag.
Shawano Police do not believe anyone’s personal information has been compromised at this time, and they are working with state and federal law enforcement, as well as the financial institutions.