ATM scam suspects caught on tape

March 9, 2009 8:22:27 PM PDT
Officers are looking for two men who they say are running an ATM scam and stealing cash from elderly victims.

The surveillance tape shows the scam starts with bad guys arriving in a pickup truck armed with nothing more than a thin sleeve or strip of plastic. It could be a piece of x-ray film. It's color helps disguise the low-tech trap, which the bad guys artfully slip into the ATM's card reader slot. The trap is set. Along comes an unsuspecting ATM user, in this case an elderly woman. Her card goes in but the ATM cannot read it because the trap holds the card in a mechanical limbo. Enter a bad guy as a concerned ATM user.

Lt. Rick Sysol explained the scam uses the foreign device to get the customer's pin number, he says the suspect approaches the victim posing as a Good Samaritan.

Officers say he suggests to the victim, 'why don't you punch in your pin number, maybe that will help'.

Police say the suspect will watch the customer punch in their code and may, at the same time, be punching in those same numbers into their phone.

But because of the trap the card stays put. The frustrated victim departs, the bad guy returns and extracts the sleeve and the card.

Police say on at least one occasion a debit card was stolen and the suspects ran up $22-hundred before the victim realized what happened.

The video is not razor sharp but police hope someone recognizes the men who set the trap or the vehicle they used.

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