Greenwich Police and the Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Forces are investigating the theft of "numerous" debit card numbers and the personal identification numbers to access the card accounts from a Cos Cob bank.
According to Greenwich Police spokesman, Lt. Kraig Gray, the thefts occurred last week at the Bank of America at 162 E. Putnam Ave. in Cos Cob. Gray said the Bank of America fraud unit detected the illegal activity of capturing debit card numbers and PINs and use of the card information, and "shut it down and contacted the Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force." The task force includes investigators from the FBI and Greenwich PD's financial crimes expert Det. Mark Solomon.
Gray said the card information was then used to make "thousands dollars of transactions in the New York City area." He added, "there were numerous people's debit cards being compromised by use of the ATM skimming device."A small camera apparently was used to capture people typing in their security codes.
Gray said of the Cos Cob skimming operation "the circumstances are similar to many other ATM skimming crimes taking place up and down the East Coast."
ATM users can protect themselves from skimming machines, Gray said. "This a reminder that these devices are out there and you should conceal your PIn when you type it in," Gray said, holding one hand over the other. "They may get your card number but not your PIN. If they don't have the PIN, they'll go on to another card with a PIN, they won't spend the time trying to figure it (the PIN) out."
He also cautioned that if an ATM appears altered in any way, "go somewhere else. Find another ATM and notify the bank."
Gray could not immediately provide the date the thefts occurred.
*Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct information on the number of transactions thieves committed. Thousands of dollars were stolen in numerous fraudelent transactions.