Columbia County investigators arrested four people in a card skimming scam.
The suspects include four siblings, and one of those suspects was a 13 year old.
According to the police report, a woman went to the Georgia Bank and Trust on Columbia Road to deposit money in the ATM. She became suspicious when the card reader fell off the machine as she took her card out.
Investigators tracked the skimmer to the suspects and arrested them.
A spokesperson with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office says these skimmers just started popping up in the area this year.
He says at first there were only a few victims here and there, but in the last couple of weeks they started seeing a bunch of these cases coming through.
The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office is warning all shoppers to be on the lookout this holiday season.
“If you go to an ATM, before you put your card in there, if anything at all looks unusual or even if it doesn’t when the card goes in, grab it and pull on it, if you pull on it and it comes off, there’s a skimmer there,” Sergeant Ken Summers said.
Sergeant Ken Summers says these skimmers are made to look exactly like the card reader, which makes them hard to spot.
“When a card is placed through the skimmer the ATM still works properly, but the card reader is capturing the data just as well as the ATM itself is,” he explained.
Above the card reader they will install a tiny camera to capture video of your pin number.
Summers says the best thing to do is cover your hand when entering your pin.
“Once they get the information from the skimmer, they will come back and get the skimmer, that information has been sent to someone in another part of the country, maybe California or Texas, specifically is where we’re seeing a lot of it,” Summers said.
In other parts of the country, Skimmers have been put on gas pumps and other devices.
“They will take that information and recode a new card they’ll take a card like you get at a giftcard that you buy at the store, they’ll take one of those that doesn’t have anything on it, and they’ll program it with that credit card information,” Summer explained.
If you come across anything suspicious at your local ATM, Summers says to call law enforcement immediately and notify your bank.