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Alarm alerts Aspen police to a “skimmer” device on Wells Fargo ATM

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January 21, 2014, 11:16 am

An alarm at the Aspen Wells Fargo branch alerted Aspen police to a “skimmer” device and a small camera hooked up to the bank’s ATM for the purpose of capturing personal account information and ID numbers from bank customers.

Here’s the full Aspen police press release:

aspen police badge logoAt approximately 5:50pm on January 20, 2014 the Aspen Police were dispatched to Aspen Wells Fargo branch for a heat sensor alarm. Upon arriving on scene the responding officers noticed something suspicious about one of the ATMs and requested a detective to assist with further investigation.

After surveying the ATM officers discovered a card skimmer and small camera attached to the external portion of the ATM. The skimmer may have triggered the heat sensor alarm.

Skimmers typically consist of  two features, the skimmer to record account information from the magnetic strip and a camera to record personal identification numbers.

At this time it is unknown how long the skimmer has been in place. The investigation will continue with assistance from a Wells Fargo security representative and the U.S. Secret Service. Security footage will also be reviewed in an effort to determine how long the skimmer has been in place and to identify potential suspects.

Citizens are encouraged to monitor their accounts closely if they have recently used their debit card at a Wells Fargo ATM in Aspen. There can be a delay of weeks, sometimes months before fraudulent charges may appear on an account, making it difficult to pinpoint where a card may have been compromised.

Please contact your bank directly if you would like to learn about their fraud prevention services, which most banks offer for a nominal fee. If you are concerned the safest option is to replace your card and get a new PIN number. Just changing the PIN number could still allow your card to be used as a credit card.

Ski season and other high traffic times of the year are often targets for criminals due to the increased number of people, many whom are from different parts of the country and world and may not notice fraudulent charges right away. If you experience fraudulent charges on your account, please report them to your local law enforcement agency.

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