Alert about ATM skimming on weekends

July 29, 2011 1:57:03 PM PDT
A popular scam called "ATM skimming" is more likely to happen on weekends, authorities say. Employees at a Chase bank in San Diego noticed they got a lot of fraudulent ATM withdrawals on weekends. Then, they say they noticed the same guy on their surveillance camera every Saturday. Now, this same man is in court.

The San Diego District Attorney says Daniel Axinte stole about a thousand ATM card numbers and well over a hundred-thousand dollars by installing a skimming device on the door to the ATM lobby - a new location to be wary of.

"He did it so fast that he installed the card reader on the door within 30 Seconds," said San Diego District Attorney Joe Cargel.

This guy was part of a popular scam called ATM skimming, which is more likely to happen on weekends. This scam can completely empty your bank account. However, there are ways to prevent it from happening to you.

Outside Seattle, there was another arrest. Surveillance cameras capture the same suspect repeatedly on weekends. Both suspects are accused of using tiny cameras to record people's pins.

"I'm not saying be paranoid and watch every day, but I check my accounts on a weekly basis," said San Diego Deputy District Attorney Sharla Evert.

It is a crime that is too easy for the crooks. Criminals recently installed skimmers on an astonishing 90 different Michael's pin pads, now replaced. Skimmer devices are also readily available for 500 bucks and a couple of clicks on the internet. That's why ATM skimming brings in a billion dollars a year for the bad guys.

A strategy to help protect yourself is to cover the keypad with one hand while you type your pin with the other. Also, if the ATM machine doesn't look right, grab hold of the card slot and give it a tug. Believe it or not, customers have actually had skimmers come off in their hands. In addition, if you have a choice, we now know it may be better to withdraw money on a weekday!