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South Carolina man finds hidden card reader, camera at bank ATM - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

South Carolina man finds hidden card reader, camera at bank ATM

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WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - A Rock Hill man got a lot more than cash back during a trip to the ATM on Monday.

According to a police report, the man wiggled the green casing on the machine which came off, revealing another card reader, or skimmer, covering the ATM's actual reader.  

The electronic device scoops information from a bank card's magnetic strip whenever a customer uses the machine.  

According to the FBI, the scheme costs U.S. banks hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

"Fraud's been around affecting people, related to bank accounts, since banks were started," said West Ashley bank executive Jamin Hujik, of Crescom Bank.

Hujik said it's the types of scams that have evolved over the years with skimming now among the most prevalent.

He says a lot of institutions have gone as far as changing the build of an ATM to lower the risk of fraudulent schemes.

"If you went back a decade ago, that slot was probably pretty roomy."

In North Charleston, detectives worked up to 30 skimming cases over the last year, which includes gas pumps, ATMs and pocket skimmers.

NCPD detectives say skimming cases can be especially hard to crack because a lot of people aren't aware they've been victimized until long after the crime occurred.

"Be aware," Detective Riedel said.  "That way, if it does happen, you give us a better idea of where to start."

Leslie Krauk, who's fallen prey to a skimming scheme three times, is now heeding that advice.

"It's frustrating because we all lead really busy lives, and we should be able to make certain stops necessary to function, and not have weeks of follow up," she said."It takes hours and hours and hours, to try to get through something like that."

FBI officials advise consumers to be weary of card readers that are loose, crooked, or damaged, and also say users should look out for tape, or the use of an adhesive.

Bank officials also advise covering the pin pad before entering your pass code to protect against hidden cameras, and when possible, suggest using credit.

Both say, skimmers are popular in high traffic areas, like a gas station, or in tourist towns.

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