Local law enforcement agencies warn about increase of ATM skimme - KPTV - FOX 12

Local law enforcement agencies warn about increase of ATM skimmers along I-5 corridor

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VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) -

Several local law enforcement agencies are looking into cases of skimming, especially along I-5.

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office said the I-5 corridor is a hot spot for credit card criminals because it’s easy access to install skimmers, making it possible for thieves to get your card number.

“It takes literally a second to put that on,” said Sgt. Duncan Hoss, with Clark County Sheriff’s Office, as he watches video of a suspect attaching a skimmer to an ATM.

Countless videos saturate the internet about how common ATM skimmers are these days.

“It’s not a crime that just has one geolocation, it’s spread out like a spider web if you will, all over the region,” Sgt. Hoss told Fox 12.

That web of crime has spread across the Metro Area. In fact, in just the past week a skimming device was spotted at a Hawthorne 7-11 store in Portland.

In Tualatin last week, three people were arrested in connection to a skimmer at a 7-11 there. 

Tigard police also recently confirmed a skimming device on a local 7-11 ATM.

“If you’re working up the I-5 Corridor, which clearly these folks were staying in Vancouver, but working up and down through Tigard. Then if you’re dropping off your credit card reader you can get off the freeway then back on,” Sgt. Hoss explains.

But investigators say there are likely many other cases out there that go will undetected until it's too late.

“It only takes a moment in time for someone to install a credit card skimmer or remove it. So unless someone happens to see it happen or comes across it, it’s really difficult to catch people while they’re doing it,” Sgt. Hoss told Fox 12.

When it comes to protecting your information there are a few things to keep in mind.

“First of all look at the ATM, does anything look out of place? Are there screws missing?” Sgt. Hoss suggests.

He also recommends wiggling the credit card slot to make sure it’s not a fake sitting on top of a real one.

Another tip, cover your hand when punching in your pin, just in case there are cameras nearby.

“But with every prevention we put in there, someone comes up with the key to get around it. So we just have to keep being vigilant in how we protect ourselves,” Sgt. Hoss said.

Investigators haven't confirmed if all of the recent skimming cases along I-5 are connected, but they say they're looking into the possibility.

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