| Crime |

ATM Thieves Use "Skim Devices" to Rip Off Cardholders, Phoenix Cops Say

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

The crime is sophisticated and devious: You're tricked into swiping your card in a thieving cardreader planted over the real one. Meanwhile, the would-be Lex Luthors are watching you punch in your PIN with binoculars or cameras.

Phoenix cops say the movie-like scenario actually happens -- they call it "skimming" -- and they've released photos today of a suspect who withdrew "large amounts" of cash from ATMs while the victims still had their cards in their wallets. One victim had the good fortune to have checked his balance online and alert authorities before his account was drained.

Police say the thefts occurred between June 17 and July 29, at ATMS located at 7th Street and Union Hills and 34th Street and Bell Road.

We're going to put in some calls today to see if banks can tell us how much money they're losing because of this scam. It's hard to believe it's widespread -- tweakers simply aren't that patient, so it must be a special sort of criminal (or gang of criminals). Every now and then, you see one who appears to have a PhD in plundering.

But even if the numbers of folks doing this are low, the money they take could be quite high. We'll update this post once we know more.

In the meantime, cops want you to call Silent Witness if you know the dude in the pictures: (480) WITNESS.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.