Hacked bank accounts lead police to skimmer at northwest Columbus ATM
Columbus Police is looking for the person responsible for hacking into a northwest Columbus ATM that ended with several customers having money stolen from their accounts.
"They accessed $100 dollars, then they accessed $500," said David Raymond, "I was surprised they would do that." Raymond, a retired musician, says the thieves then went on a spending spree at a nearby outdoors store.
Raymond was one of several people who reported to Columbus Police money vanished from their bank accounts last month, shortly after they drove through a US Bank ATM located at 1717 W. 5th Avenue.
"I was upset because they could access that from my ATM card, I didn't know my card had information in there," said Raymond.
Investigators were trying to determine how the ATM machine was able to be hacked by thieves.
In a statement to ABC 6/FOX 28, US Bank officials said:
"One of our ATM machines was affected by a skimming device on July 21 and July 22. Upon learning of the tampering, we contacted the authorities and are assisting with the investigation. U.S. Bank customers have the benefit of zero liability protection against unauthorized transactions. We do not believe this incident was connected to any malware or a virus, but rather was solely a skimming incident. ATM skimming can happen to any bank. Our branch staff check our ATM machines several times a day for any signs of tampering and we utilize state-of-the-art fraud monitoring techniques to watch for suspicious activity at all times. Fraud can happen anywhere, any time to anyone."
Here are some fraud prevention tips for consumers:
- Watch for anything unusual attached to the ATM card slot, report it to the bank or police.
- Shield the pin pad when entering PIN number.
- Monitor your bank account regularly, which is easy to do with mobile and internet banking.
- Set up email and text alerts to help spot unusual transactions.
Raymond said it was US Bank Officials who notified him about the account breech and is working with the bank to get his cash returned to his account.
Columbus Police said they have not received any other reports about ATMs being compromised, and the US Bank ATM was shut down shortly after officials began getting complaints from customers.
Still, Raymond wasn't so sure he'll use a money machine anytime soon.
"I am kind of afraid to use the ATM anymore, they are all over town," said Raymond