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October 15, 2009

Skimmer devices show up in Minnesota

Here's an article from the about a rash of skimmer devices showing up that have local authorities worried about an identity theft outbreak.

Beware "the skimmer."

A small, nondescript device that reads and stores credit numbers has popped up in a pair of unrelated theft cases in the metro — one involving a fast-food chain in Eagan, the other involving a TCF Bank machine in Maplewood — giving law enforcement officials and the public yet another reason to concern themselves with identity theft.

"It's not a garden-variety tool, that's for sure," said Jason Korstange, director of corporate communications for TCF Bank. "Not a lot of people would understand how to use it."

The skimmer is so innocuous in its appearance, it can be affixed over the card slot on an ATM machine to make it look like a normal part of the contraption, as was the case recently in Maplewood, or it can be tucked away in a shop's backroom or under a retail counter, where crooked store clerks can use it to scan customers' cards without their knowledge.

"If you're the victim, it may take a while for you to discover, in the first place, that they're charging your card," Maplewood Police Chief David Kvam said. "But your card is not missing — you have it. ... They could be in another town, or even another state, before you become aware."

Police say they've arrested two men who used the boxy little machine to steal credit-card information from unsuspecting customers at a Wendy's hamburger shop in Eagan, where one of the suspects worked behind the drive-through window.
 The whole article can be found here -

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