Criminals are using card skimming devices at Canberra ATMs to steal tens of thousands of dollars, in a sophisticated operation that has possible interstate links.
More than 12 victims have come forward to police over the past month, after their card details and PIN numbers were extracted by card skimming devices clandestinely attached to ATMs around the city.
Police say the card skimmers have predominantly been used on ATMs in the Civic and Woden areas, but are warning that many victims may still not have realised their money has been taken.
Acting detective sergeant Rachel Batterham said the victims have each had roughly $1000 taken.
‘‘This device reads the details of a person’s card when entered, and there is a small camera that is attached that can view where the person’s fingers go to see what their PIN is,’’ detective sergeant Batterham said.
‘‘This is a sophisticated and methodical way of obtaining funds from someone’s account,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s also risky in the fact that someone has to physically attach the device to an ATM, and come back at a later time to remove it and download those details.’’
Police say similar devices have been used in Victoria and Queensland recently, and ACT Policing are liasing with authorities in those states.
Detective sergeant Batterham said it was possible that a single skimming device may have been used at many different ATMs.
CCTV footage will be key in helping police catch the offenders.
Police have urged people to check their accounts for unauthorised transactions.
They are also warning Canberrans to check ATMs carefully before using them, looking for any irregularities or suspicious devices.
Members of the public are also urged to cover their hands as they enter their PIN.
When using ATMs, look 4 anything suspicious on facade of ATM. Skimming devices that replicate the facade can be attached 2 skim user's cards— Roman (@CPOACT) November 27, 2012