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Thieves Use Two-Part Skimming Scam To Steal ATM Card Information

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Criminals are employing new tactics to target your personal information.

The convenience of an ATM is not lost on criminals eager to steal your information.

“The amount of incidents being reported has dramatically increased, and it’s throughout the five boroughs,” NYPD Crime Prevention Division Inspector Thomas Conforti told CBS2’s Valerie Castro.

Conforti said the two part skimming scam relies on the information on your card’s magnetic strip gathered by the skimmer, but also your pin number — recorded by a hidden camera when you punch in the number.

Both can take just a few minutes to install.

Last month on Long Island investigators recovered a pinhole camera hidden just above the keypad.

The same machine also had a skimmer attached over the real card reader.

Thieves use the stolen information from the skimmer to make a clone of your card, then use it with the pin number you’ve clearly punched in.

Now, a new trend is popping up.

The skimming devices can be used in more than one place. Police said criminals can put them inside the card readers that get you inside the door after hours.

Once again, a camera will record you pin at the machine, and thieves will match up the video to when you swiped your card.

Another tactic; criminals might damage several ATMs in a bank vestibule except for one — forcing you to use the ATM with the skimmer.

“I would be very skeptical of using any machines when either one of multiple machines in vestibule are coming up with error messages,” Conforti said.

Police are fighting back, inspecting thousands of ATMs throughout the city.

“There are some techniques we can’t get into here, but we make our presence known at these locations. We’ll leave it at that,” Conforti added.

There are tried and true ways to protect yourself — wiggle the card to see if it’s a fake and cover up the pin pad every single time.

The NYPD said they can also target Metropolitan Transportation Authority ticket machines and high traffic tourist areas like Times Square are a big target.

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