Sunday, May 27 , 2018, 10:57 am | Fair 62º


Local News

Santa Barbara Police Seek Public’s Help Identifying ATM ‘Skimming’ Suspect

At least 28 people are scammed after using credit cards at a bank on Upper State Street

The Santa Barbara Police Department is seeking the public’s help in identifying and locating a suspect sought in credit-card fraud known as “skimming.”

The practice involves placing a skimming device over a credit-card reader that captures the credit-card number. In this case, the suspect placed the skimming device on an ATM machine at a bank on Upper State Street. Police did not disclose the name of the bank as the investigation is continuing.

Police say 28 customers unknowingly swiped credit cards through the fraudulent skimmer. When the ATM didn’t work, customers assumed it was broken. In reality, the “skimmer” had captured their credit-card information.

According to police, the suspect later returned tho the bank, retrieved the device, downloaded the credit-card information and made duplicate cards.

In other skimming cases, suspects have placed pinhole cameras above the ATM PIN pads, allowing them to get both credit-card and personal identification numbers.

Anyone with suspect information is asked to call Detective John Ingram at 805.897.2331 or the anonymous tip line at 805.897.2386.

Police advise the public to make sure they’re using legitimate credit-card readers. Fraudulent skimmers usually protrude farther than usual and are often attached to the legitimate reader with double-sided tape. If an ATM doesn’t function properly, be suspicious. To ensure protection, grasp and shake the reader to make sure it doesn’t break loose.

Customers who believe they may have been scammed should contact their bank immediately.

Noozhawk managing editor Michelle Nelson can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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