Detectives from the Montgomery County Police – Financial Crimes Section are investigating a series of incidents in which skimming devices have been placed on ATMs at banks located in the Bethesda and Chevy Chase areas.
Since mid-August, two bank locations, one in Bethesda and one in Chevy Chase, have been targeted by two suspects placing the devices. The skimming devices were placed on ATMs at each bank location multiple times during the month of August. The devices recorded the victims’ account numbers, and the accounts numbers were later used fraudulently.
Today, detectives are releasing surveillance photos of the two suspects and asking for the public’s assistance in identifying them.
Anyone with information regarding the suspects’ identity is asked to contact the Financial Crimes Section at 240-773-6330. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477) or leave a Crime Solvers tip here. Crime Solvers will pay a cash reward of up to $10,000 for information provided to them that leads to an arrest and/or indictment for this felony crime.
Due to these recent incidents involving ATM skimmers, detectives are offering the following tips to protect residents from becoming victimized when using an ATM or other credit card reader:
- Inspect the ATM, gas pump, or credit card reader before using it. Be suspicious if you notice that any parts are loose, crooked, or damaged or if you notice scratches or adhesive or tape residue on the device.
- When entering your pin, block the keypad with your other hand to prevent possible hidden cameras from recording your number.
- If possible, use an ATM that is located inside of the bank as these machines are less accessible to criminals to install skimmers.
- If the ATM is located inside the bank and your card is required to access the inside, check the card reader prior to swiping your card.
- Use caution when using ATMs in tourist areas. These machines are popular targets of skimmers.
- If your card is not returned after the transaction or after hitting “cancel”, immediately contact the financial institution that issued the card.
- Beware of “shoulder surfers” – individuals behind you who may be looking over your shoulder to obtain your PIN number.
In all instances, if you are suspicious of a device, do not use it, and notify the financial institution of your concerns immediately or contact the Montgomery County Police non-emergency number, 301-279-8000.