ATM skimming device found at Waukesha bank part of international ring

CREATED Feb 28, 2013

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WAUKESHA - Thieves are attempting to steal money from ATMs by placing skimmers on the machines. Now the investigation revealed the Waukesha incident is part of an international ring involving millions of dollars.

Earlier in February Waukesha Police found a skimmer device and hidden camera at the U.S. Bank ATM on Silvernail Road. A skimmer is device placed on top of the machine which stores the person’s card information.

Police said the high tech scheme to steal banking information is bigger than just Waukesha. It turns out the man Waukesha police say installed the device is part of a global theft ring.

“It makes you think should I even use my card anymore or just use cash it's scary,” said Peter Reeves.

Reeves said he doesn’t feel safe using an ATM since learning about the scheme. Two men were arrested and charged in federal court in New York for making illegal transactions from a bank in Milwaukee and Franklin. Investigators believe others are involved in the scheme.

The U.S Secret Service is now leading the investigation. The case revealed the thieves tried to steal three million dollars after getting banking account and pin numbers from the skimming devices.

Captain Ron Oremus with the Waukesha Police department said it’s still unclear how many victims they have in the city.

“You have to ask yourself 'Are we looking at the tip of the iceberg as far as what the Secret Service knows right now?" he said. "Is there that much more if we're just talking multi-millions right now and we're just at the tip of the iceberg?"

This leaves many people to wonder how they can protect themselves. Police recommend you look closely at the machine before you swipe your card. If there’s something that appears it doesn’t belong, don’t use it. It is also recommended you check you bank statement for any strange activities.