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Police say a device to steal bank and credit card information from ATM users was found on an ATM at a Bel Air bank last week.

Investigators say they aren’t sure how many customers may have had personal financial information compromised by what is known as a “skimming” device; however, several complaints about credit and bank card misuse have been filed with them.

The matter is being investigated by the Bel Air Police Department.

Though skimming devices have become a favorite tactic among sophisticated cyber-criminals in recent years, this appears to be the first such incident involving one to be reported by the Bel Air Police Department.

Around 1:43 p.m. on Sept. 24, Bel Air police officers arrived at the Bank of America branch at 201 S. Main St. after bank officials discovered a skimming machine inside an ATM at the location, according to Bel Air’s Deputy Police Chief Armand Dupre. The ATM is just inside the bank’s front door.

Skimming devices capture and replicate a credit or debit card and card numbers. In the case of debit cards, the devices also record the user’s PIN code.

“It appears this may possibly have happened at this Bank of America location,” Dupre said.

Dupre said he did not have an estimate for how many individuals were victimized, but added: “There were several victims.”

The Harford County Sheriff’s Office has since received several reports of bank card misuse.

Two Bel Air residents reported more than $500 missing from accounts attached to their bank cards between Sept. 22 and Sept. 25, according to Monica Worrell, public information specialist with the Harford County Sheriff’s Office.

“The skimming device has been removed and it’s being investigated,” Dupre said.


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