Norfolk police warn people to check accounts after skimmers found on ATMs

(Walter Hildebrand/WAVY Photo)

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Police are warning citizens to be alert after two ATM skimmers were found in two weeks.

Norfolk police said Wednesday in at least one case, it was a technician called to fix what a customer thought was a broken ATM that found the skimmer.

(Walter Hildebrand/WAVY Photo)

The skimming device isn’t particularly sophisticated. There are two pieces — one plastic, one rubber — with an electronic connection meant to steal your information.

Detective Catrinna Bitting, with the Norfolk Police Economic Crimes Unit, showed 10 On Your Side’s Brandi Cummings one of the recovered devices.

“This was retrieved from the ATM,” she said.

Bitting said one skimmer was found Monday on an ATM inside the 7-Eleven store on Monticello Avenue.

“It’s kind of alarming,” 7-Eleven customer Cameron Smith said of the news.

Another customer, Marcel Guevara said, “It’s hard because people work hard for the money and it’s people that just steal people’s money.”

(Photo courtesy WAVY viewer)

On Friday, a device was found nearly nine miles away, also at an ATM inside a 7-Eleven on East Ocean View Avenue. A WAVY viewer sent us a picture of the ATM.

Devices have been removed from both machines.

“It’s a huge concern for us, because people’s banks are being compromised, their money, their retirement, their savings. It’s just a violation of everything they’ve worked for,” Detective Bitting said.

Police said the crooks used double-sided tape to attach the skimmer on top of the ATMs. Once an unsuspecting customer puts a credit card into the machine, the skimmer electronically records the information from the magnetic strip.

Detective Bitting explained there are a few ways consumers can protect themselves.

First, pause before using an ATM to make sure nothing is raised and check to see if the card reader or keypad moves.

“Anything that’s loose on an ATM, alert the store or the bank or wherever you are and don’t use it,” Detective Bitting said.

She also advises simply, protect your pin.

“When you’re putting in your pin number, make sure you cover it up,” she said.

Norfolk police said citizens should check accounts if they’ve used the aforementioned ATMs.

As of right now, police don’t know how many people are affected or how long the skimmers were there. Investigators are gathering information and plan to check surveillance video to identify a suspect.