Police warn about skimming devices, growing trend

SOMERSET, Mass. (WPRI) — Local law enforcement officials are warning about a growing crime trend.

Skimming devices are being installed by thieves on ATM machines across the country, stealing unsuspecting customers electronic bank information.

Card skimming also becoming a growing problem in Somerset.

Somerset Police Chief George McNeil said he has been a victim of the crime himself!

“It happened to me last week in the Rockland Trust in this town,” said McNeil.

Bank representatives told the chief that he needed a new card because his old one had been compromised.

“Fortunately they didn’t take any money off of it,” he said.

Investigators have reported these types of problems all across the region. They said more and more credit and debit card accounts have had information stolen from them.

Some residents are not surprised by the growing trend.

“Credit cards are so easily stolen, that the skimmers are just one step easier,” said Paul Martin.

According to the FBI, ATM skimming costs U.S. banks hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

Chief McNeil said his department has been looking to crackdown on thieves that commit the act.

Meanwhile, the FBI encourages everyone to carefully check ATM and gas pump machines before using them.

Local police are also asking banks to monitor their surveillance more closely.

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