Henry County police investigate credit card 'skimmer' on ATM

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HENRY Co.,Va. (WDBJ) -- The Henry County Sheriff’s has received multiple reports of credit and debit card fraud due to "skimmers" and they warn shoppers to keep an eye out for anything unusual a point of sale.

According to a news release from Henry County, on Feb. 11, the Henry County Sheriff’s received multiple reports of credit and debit card fraud.

Through the course of the investigation, it was discovered that an external card reading skimmer was installed on the ValleyStar Credit Union ATM located at 35 DuPont Rd., Martinsville, VA.

The card reading skimmer was placed on the ATM Saturday, February 2nd at 6:20 am and removed during the early morning hours of Sunday, February 3rd. The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating this incident with the assistance of the United States Secret Service and ValleyStar Credit Union.

The individual in the attached photographs is suspected of placing the card reading skimmer on the ATM. We are requesting the assistance of the public in identifying this individual.

An external card reading skimmer is made to fit over the existing card reader. A card skimming device can be attached to an ATM or any other device designed to read credit or debit cards. It’s used to capture information from the debit or credit card that’s inserted or swiped. Perpetrators use the information illegally collected to make purchases or withdraw money from the customer’s account.

Card users should follow these tips, police said:

• Watch for card readers that look suspicious. The area where a credit or debit card is swiped or inserted that does not match the rest of the ATM or card reader.
• Pull or tug on the card reader before using it. If it detaches or feels loose, do not insert your card or use it. External card reading skimmers are typically installed with an adhesive.
• Look for devices near the card reader that may hold a camera – sometimes just a tiny pinhole camera – as those can be used to record images of both sides of the bank card or the user’s PIN.
• Shield your PIN number entry with your hand to prevent a camera from recording it.
• Look for evidence of tampering with the ATM or card reader. If you notice any tampering – loose or damaged doors – refrain from using it.
• Monitor your bank and credit card statements regularly. If you suspect fraud or find evidence of purchases you did not make, report it to your financial institution and local law enforcement.
• Immediately report any suspicious devices or suspicious activity near an ATM or card reader to local law enforcement.