Police discover more skimmers around S. Fla.
FORT LAUDERDALE , Fla. (WSVN) -- At least five Publix supermarkets have been targeted in South Florida in the last few weeks by crooks using technology to steal people's identities.
Police said these so-called skimming devices are placed over part of the machine where a customer inserts a debit or credit card. A camera on the device then captures the user entering his or her PIN number. With that information the crooks are able to make off with a lot of cash.
This scam-in-the-making was last caught on camera outside of a Publix on 3400 N. Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday. Police want to talk to two men caught on camera who acted suspiciously around an ATM.
A few days earlier, Friday morning, a Coral Springs Publix on Wild Road, saw similar activity. "They put in on right over here," said Craig London, one of the victims of the scam, "and that's why you can't tell the difference, and that's what's happening, and they say they could be sitting in a car 20 yards away, and it gets transmitted to a hard drive and reads your card information."
London said he was a victim to the skimming crime last week. "I came here Thursday night, did a withdrawal," he said.
He knows after he checked his bank account balance Saturday morning. "I saw a balance that I didn't expect, and then I went and checked my transactions, and I found out I was minus the maximum daily withdrawal amount. As soon as I saw 'ATM Pompano Beach' I knew something was wrong.
By Friday afternoon, police dismantled the card skimmer and PIN camera. "I would've cupped my hand over my PIN if I would've known," said London.
The crooks were caught on camera Friday afternoon at the Publix on Wild Road, and even tested their own installation. "His partner walks up and inserts the card to see if it works or not," said Coral Springs Police Lieutenant Joe McHugh.
Earlier this week, a Sunny Isles police detective recognized a subject wanted for a scam in his city after a similar subject was caught on video released by police in Sea Ranch Lakes.
Publix ATMs are not the only one susceptible to this problem, but so far they are the only ones hit in South Florida, but police need more people to come forward.
If you have any information on the identity of the thieves caught on camera, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS or Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.
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