The Urbana Police Division is looking into fraud at a local bank involving a skimmer device.
In a press release issued on Wednesday, Chief Matt Lingrell states that since Sunday Urbana police have been conducting a felony theft investigation involving the ATM machine located outside The Peoples Savings Bank, 618 Scioto St.
Lingrell states police were alerted by a bank customer on Sunday at 3:50 p.m. after discovering a possible skimmer device attached to the ATM machine while attempting to make a transaction.
“Police have been working closely with bank officials since then, trying to identify customers that may have been victim to the skimmer theft, as well as attempting to identify the suspect who placed the device there,” Lingrell stated.
The release states a skimmer is an electronic device that can be attached and removed from an ATM machine and can intercept personal identifying information of anyone logging in to make transactions. This information is then stolen and used by the suspect to commit theft crimes.
In addition to the skimmer device recovered, Lingrell stated police recovered a pin camera that had been placed on the machine to obtain additional personal information from customers using the ATM. These items will be processed by a crime lab to see if additional information can be obtained to assist police in their investigation.
As of Wednesday afternoon, several customers had been identified as being victimized by this criminal act. Lingrell stated the bank is working closely with those customers to protect their accounts and to mitigate any losses. He added the bank will continue to assist police and customers in identifying and helping to mitigate any additional victims as they are identified.
Lingrell stated police believe the skimmer was on the ATM on July 28 and 29 as well as Aug. 4 and 5. No other dates have been confirmed.
“Police are very appreciative to the citizen who first reported the device, as well as the bank representatives who have worked closely with us to have success in our investigation and to provide customer services to its customers who have been victimized,” Lingrell stated.
In a post on the Champaign County Sheriff Office’s Facebook page, bank President and CEO Brian Nicol addressed the skimmer incident.
“The Peoples Savings Bank is aware of the ATM Skimmer that was discovered on (August 5) at the Scioto Street Branch,” Nicol stated. “The device was given to the Urbana Police Department and they are continuing to investigate.
“The Peoples Savings Bank is committed to stay on top of the situation and will continue to work closely with local law enforcement, as well as the other local financial institutions with ATMs, to safeguard this from happening again. It is, and always will be, the priority of The Peoples Savings Bank to protect its’ customers information and will stay on top of this investigation until the perpetrators are found and arrested.”
Urbana police are seeking the community’s assistance in helping them to identify a possible suspect in these crimes.
The suspect is described as a white male, medium build with a pot belly, dark short cut hair, wearing a white with dark striped t-shirt, and dark shorts with light colored stripes. His vehicle is described as a light colored, possibly grey or blue minivan. Police believe it may have out of state license plates on it.
Lingrell stated as police continue to work on this investigation, police will not be releasing any other information regarding victims or monetary loss.
Police are asking anyone with information on these crimes and or any possible suspect to contact them at 937-652-4350.
Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.