Police Ask for Help Finding ATM Skimming Suspect

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MENTOR, Ohio -- Mentor Police are asking for the public's help in finding a man who was caught on camera 'skimming' an ATM last week.

"Somebody drove up and attached a skimmer to the ATM at First Merit Bank on SR 306.  And then the next day, on camera, they came back about the same time and removed that skimmer from the ATM machine," said Sgt. Rich Slovenkay, with the Mentor Police.

Police do not know how many people's cards, if any, were skimmed.

However, surveillance captured a clear picture of the suspect.

"We were hoping to get some input from the public.  Get the public's help and see if anyone recognizes the male attaching and removing that ATM skimmer," added Sgt. Slovenkay.

So, how does a skimmer work and how can you protect yourself?

"We at SecureState work with companies such as banks, retailers, gas stations, to develop programs that protect themselves from skimmer attacks," said Matt Neely, VP of Consulting at SecureState.

According to SecureState, the skimmer is used to swipe then store personal information.

"When the card is inserted, it actually reads the card off of the black strip on the back of the card that contains things like your name and your card number," explained Neely.

After that, a duplicate ATM card can be made.

"Generally, these type of people move across the country in waves.  You'll see them hit one city and continue on.  You can almost plot their movement as they move across the country," added Neely.

SecureState said the best way to protect yourself is to use ATMs inside banks, and always use the same one.

"Then look to make sure that there is nothing that is attached to the ATM.  So, if there is something that is over the card slot, make sure you can't jiggle that and it could come off," Neely added.

"If you are using an ATM and see a device that they think is attached, they should call police right away and not use that ATM machine," stated Sgt. Slovnekay.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Mentor Police Detective Haller at (440) 974-5763.

Tips can remain anonymous.