By Bill Shields, WBZ-TVBy Bill Shields

TAUNTON (CBS) – An alert bank customer in Taunton may have saved a lot of customers some money and grief. The customer was about to use the ATM when he noticed a plastic piece was loose. The piece was where you insert your card.

The customer touched it and it fell off. It turned out to be a “skimmer”, a device that is used to steal customer information.

This particular skimmer was installed on an ATM at the Eastern Bank on Route 140, but it was detected before any customer data was obtained.

WBZ-TV’s Bill Shields reports

The device captures a user’s card information during a swipe, and a small hidden camera mounted on the ATM captures the entry of PIN numbers.

Officers said the only noticeable difference from the skimmer (shown in the above photo on the left) and the real ATM (shown in the above photo on the right) is that the skimmer juts out where the strip reader is, while the card reader on the real ATM is concave.

Police said this was the first reported use of a skimmer in Taunton.

Stoughton police have also encountered “skimmers”, and Det. Jim O’Connor says everyone should examine an ATM before you use it. “Just touch the area around the card slot,” says Det. O’Connor. “And maybe give it a little tug just to make sure it’s not placed over the real slot.”

When thieves manage to install a skimmer, and retrieve customer information, they can either steal money from the account or even sell the information to identity theft rings.

Bill Shields

Comments (3)
  1. foulkeblows says:

    Most of these bank ATM’s have cameras in them that are supposed capture this kind of thing! Why wasn’t this caught IMMEDIATELY and that ATM shut down??? Are you telling me the camera didn’t capture someone attaching a foreign device to the ATM???????? Great Job Eastern Bank. You better be refunding every dime to any customer that got taken. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR MAINTAINING THIS EQUIPMENT.

    1. says:

      OK Foulkeblows. You do understand how a video camera works – don’t you? There is no person watching the footage 24/7. (that would be impossible!!) I am sure once the device was discovered the skimmer was removed & the bank & police are investigating the footage. They will report to all those that used their card between the time the skimmer was put on & when it was discovered and the bank must make good on any losses. I think you should just be aware of & on the look out for skimmers when using your card. If you are unsure – grab it & give it a tug. Most skimmers are put over the original card readers with adhesive/double sided tape. If you are suspicious – grab it & give it a tug! No real ATMs have card readers that are removeable. If you find a skimmer, report to the police ASAP!

  2. mikey says:

    Chances are the LEGIT ATM camera is a frame grabber that only works when the card is inserted and active, otherwise there would be WAY too much activity. And the chance that the ATM camera is aimed to catch the card slot is pretty slim. The best that can be hoped for is that the idiot inserted a card to try it when he did the attach.

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