An investigation is underway after an off-duty police officer found a skimming device on an ATM.
The Oklahoma City police officer says he was able to pull the entire keypad off of the Bank of Oklahoma ATM at Tulsa Hills and realized he found a skimming device.
Investigators say this particular keypad was very advanced and was sending information to thieves right away via Bluetooth.
“It kind of felt weird being a police officer and calling 911, but that’s what I did,” said Master Sergeant Corey Nooner from the OKC Police Department.
Nooner says he was getting money out the ATM when he noticed something wasn’t right.
“It’s an outside ATM, so everything is weathered and beaten up and stuff, but the keypad was really clean,” he said.
He says that he started to run his fingernail around the keypad and the entire thing popped off.
“Once I realized what I had in front of me, I kind of got nervous because I know, usually, there’s somebody around watching this equipment,” said Nooner.
Corporal Matt Rose from the Tulsa Police Department says, “these people are very sophisticated.”
TPD says they deal with cases like this a lot, but they are very difficult to solve. Police say there are things that you should be on the lookout for to protect yourself.
“Kind of give it just a slight tug, maybe pull a little bit,” said Rose. “One of the big things is, usually, this will be removed.”
Rose says there is usually a way to extract the information from the device, but this particular one is more advanced.
“It’s basically state of the art technology where they are using bluetooth devices now,” Rose stated.
He says police mostly see these devices at gas pumps and stand-alone ATMs, but you should be cautious any time you are using your card.
“If something doesn’t look right, go inside,” said Rose. “Just simply don’t use the machine.”
Tulsa Police and Bank of Oklahoma Security are reviewing surveillance video to see if they can determine who put the device on the ATM.
Bank of Oklahoma says they take security very seriously. The bank released a statement, saying
"On Sunday, Bank of Oklahoma security officials were made aware that someone had illegally attached a 'shimming device' to one of our ATMs. After securing the ATM, we worked with our local law enforcement officials to launch an investigation into the issue. Through the investigation, we found the 'shimmer' had been placed on the ATM for a very short period of time, and it appears to be an isolated incident. These devices are typically recovered by the perpetrators, and that is how information could be compromised. We were able to obtain the device, and though this bodes well for our clients’ security, we are continuing to investigate. We take security very seriously at the Bank of Oklahoma, and we always do everything we can to protect our customers’ information.
This is a great reminder that customers must remain vigilant in protecting sensitive information and to always notify their bank or local law enforcement if something seems out of place when using any ATM."
Bank of Oklahoma says they also provide several recommendations about how customers can protect themselves and their identity. These recommendations are available on their website.
If you know anything about this crime, call Crime Stoppers at 918-596-COPS.