Police investigating ATM skimming incidents at banks in New Jersey

JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP, New Jersey (WABC) -- Police in New Jersey are investigating a number of ATM skimming incidents in which account information was stolen from customers.

In Jefferson Township, the incidents occurred between December 23 and January 2 at Lakeland Bank on Berkshire Valley Road where the outside ATM was compromised, authorities say.

Customers there were checking their bank accounts Wednesday to make sure they weren't victimized.

Police say ATM skimming is like identity theft for debit cards: Thieves use hidden electronics to steal the personal information stored on the card and record the PIN number to access all the cash in the account.

The thief or thieves placed the sophisticated bank skimmer over a stand alone ATM at the bank in Jefferson. The device looks so real there is no way a busy customer can tell if it's fake.

"It slides over the top of the reader on the ATM and without knowing it they put their card in and the whole time they're doing their transactions it's reading their personal information, their PIN numbers, bank information and transferring it into a memory in that phony skimmer," said Jefferson Township Police Detective Richard Geib.

The crimes have spread to multiple towns in New Jersey to include Jefferson Township, Bloomingdale and Lincoln Park. Over 100 possible victims have been identified so far.

It may be tied to similar crimes which have been reported in Garden City, Long Island, and now the matter is being investigated by the FBI.

Anyone using the bank's ATM between those dates is encouraged to review their bank statement and report any fraudulent transactions to their local police department or contact the Jefferson Township Detective Bureau
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