TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Tucson Police arrested three men on fraud charges after catching them using a skimming device on an ATM.
"They're designed to basically read the magnetic strip data on the back of the card," said Sgt. Rick Radinsky, who works with the Financial Crimes Unit.
The men were booked into the Pima County Jail on Wednesday, February 3, the day of the arrest. Officers found them at the Chase Bank branch at 2121 W. Grant road when they went to remove the device. The men left the area in a vehicle but police arrested all three in a traffic stop later. They threw the skimming device out the window before the stop, but police retrieved it after.
"They did not have a chance to utilize the date they obtained," said Sgt. Radinsky.
Tucson police say the financial institutions were notified of the attempt.
The suspects were identified as 31-year-old Eric Barraza, 26-year-old Daniel Barraza and 39-year-old Balerio Torres.
Radinsky says although card skimming does happen, it is not common.
Card skimmers are also difficult to notice. Radinsky says card skimmers are designed to look like they are a part of the ATM. They are usually an attachment onto the outside of the card slot.
The Tucson Police Department would like to provide ATM users some safety tips:
1. Observe the ATM for signs of tampering. If parts of the machine seem loose, crooked or damaged, utilize a different machine.
2. Block the keypad with your hand when entering your PIN, to avoid undetected cameras from spying your secret code.
3. When the option is available, use interior ATMs over exterior ones. There is less access on interior machines for skimmers to be installed.
4. If you become aware of a skimmer device attached to an ATM, call 911.
5. Check your account activity often, and dispute fraudulent charges to your financial institution as soon as practical.