South Carolina

Police say ‘40 cards compromised’ by skimmer at SC bank ATM

How do you spot card skimmers on ATMs?

The Richland County Sheriff's Department says card skimmers used to steal people's card information are being found on automatic teller machines on a weekly basis, and that this crime is happening nationally. Sheriff Leon Lott explains how to spot
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The Richland County Sheriff's Department says card skimmers used to steal people's card information are being found on automatic teller machines on a weekly basis, and that this crime is happening nationally. Sheriff Leon Lott explains how to spot

More than three dozen bank cards were compromised at a Rock Hill bank where a skimming device was found to have been on an ATM machine for about 10 hours last month, according to a Rock Hill police report.

First Citizens Bank reported a skimming device, or transaction card forgery device, was found March 19 on a bank ATM machine at 132 S. Herlong Ave., according to the report. The bank investigated, and reported it to the police department April 18, said police Capt. Mark Bollinger, public information officer for the Rock Hill Police Department.

In a possibly related case, police identified suspects wanted in case involving a skimmer found on the Arrowpointe Federal Credit Union ATM at Home Depot Boulevard, a police report states.

Felicia Pope, vice president of marketing and business development with ArrowPointe Credit Union, told The Herald no cards were compromised in that case.

Bollinger said police believe the First Citizens Bank ATM crime involves the same person who put a skimmer on the Arrowpointe ATM, but he said they can’t yet verify who that is.

The suspect is a refugee from Romania, said Sgt. David Hanoka of the Rock Hill Police Department. He said one suspect has been identified.

“Could there be more? Absolutely,” he said.

Hanoka said detectives are working to identify the suspect who retrieved the skimmer off the ATM and who may have been using counterfeit cards.

“I think they are all working together,” Hanoka said.

A First Citizens Bank employee told investigators the device had been placed on the bank ATM at 7:28 a.m. March 19, according to the report. It was later found to have been retrieved at about 5:58 p.m. the same day, the report states.

The bank employee told police “about 40 cards were compromised, and a complete total is still pending,” the report states.

Images of the suspect who placed and retrieved the skimmer were given to the police, the report says, along with a spread sheet of fraudulent transactions, locations and amounts.

Though the skimmer was found at the Rock Hill bank, it was found the majority of fraudulent transactions were made at bank ATMs in the Columbia area, the report states.

First Citizens Bank is attempting to obtain images of the suspect or suspects using counterfeit cards in that area, the report states.

“We are doing everything we can to look for these devices,” said Barbara Thompson, a spokesperson for First Citizens Bank. “We acted quickly, and we routinely monitor all of our ATMs for skimming devices.”

Thompson encourages customers to look out for anything suspicious, and “to regularly review their account statements and to safeguard their information.”

Catherine Muccigrosso: 803-329-4069

Amanda Harris: 803-329-4082

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