PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - The Phenix City Police Department discovered an ATM skimmer Sunday afternoon at a Regions Bank ATM on US Highway 280.
A skimmer is a device designed to blend in with the ATM containing a camera, battery and mini SD card.
Thieves place the device on the ATM. It then records your information on the memory card and in order to retrieve it, criminals must come back and physically remove the device.
"Based on some of the data we looked at that was recorded on the device there was a number of transactions but the positive note on that is since we retrieved the data none of their personal information was compromised," says Lieutenant Steve Nolin with the Phenix City Police Department.
The device was intercepted before thieves could perpetrate any customer's accounts, but police say they do not know who was responsible for placing the device on the Regions ATM.
"Be aware of this, be diligent where you are placing your credit cards and debit cards so you won't be a victim of identity theft. Scrutinize it check to see if something's not right," says Lt. Nolin.
If you suspect something is not right when you are getting cash at an ATM, Lt. Nolin suggest pulling on the card slot, keypads or panels to see if they will move. Often times skimmers are only attached by double-sided tape and therefore are easy to remove.
The skimmer device is made up of two components: a panel which has a little pinhole camera that retrieves your pin, and the second component is the covering it goes over the slot where you insert your bank card and reads all of the information from the magnetic strip of your card.