HARTFORD, Conn. (WCBS 880) — There is a warning to those with ATM cards this holiday season.

WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau reports

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The advice from experts: avoid using ATMs in isolated places.

Howard Schwartz of the Connecticut Business Bureau says thieves can easily access these machines to insert their illegal card readers.

“Make sure that you use ATMs that are in a spot that are well-lit, that are frequented by other people,” Schwartz told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau. “It just takes a moment to take a look in the slot to see whether or not there’s something that’s been slipped in.”

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Schwartz says, often visible to the naked eye, are devices in the slot that look like bits of x-ray film. Police said a device can be placed over the card reader allowing criminals access to the card numbers and pin numbers to create new cards which are used at ATMs to take out maximum amounts.

He says they’re known to tamper with card slots at gas pumps as well.

In New Jersey, authorities were warning people about an ATM card skimming scheme. Approximately $1,500 was taken from at least one man’s account at Bank of America in that case. Bank of America was asking all customers to contact their branch if they notice anything unusual during transactions or on their bank statements.

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