Police chief: Hundreds of accounts might have been compromised by skimming device

Police chief: Hundreds of accounts might have been compromised by skimming device

Hundreds of bank accounts might have been compromised by a skimming device, the South Fayette police chief told Channel 11 News on Thursday.

Between 40 and 50 people have come to the police station to file reports over the last three days, the chief said.

He said he believes that at least some, but not all, of the account compromises are connected to a skimming device found on an ATM at the Giant Eagle GetGo near the Bridgeville exit of Interstate 79. The device was found at the end of October. People are getting their bank statements and seeing the fraudulent activity.

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Police have a surveillance photo of a man whom they believe is connected to the GetGo skimming device case. Police said the man is suspected in a wide-ranging bank fraud case. He was seen inside the GetGo near Bridgeville just after 7 a.m. on Oct. 29, putting a skimmer on the ATM, police said.

The police chief said the victims are from all over the area, and the cards were used as far south as Florida. South Fayette police are investigating the complaints.

South Fayette police said the man is also suspected of putting a skimmer on an ATM in Carnegie, and they think that he might have hit other places as well.

Channel 11 first broke the news of a skimmer found on a Citizen's Bank ATM on Oct. 31. Citizens Financial Group Media Relations specialist Gabe Martinez issued the following statement Thursday:

"The safety and security of our customers’ accounts is of utmost importance to us. We monitor for unusual activity 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We are aware of recent incidents where skimmers have been found in the area and are working closely with local authorities on the investigation.
 
"We encourage customers to closely monitor their accounts and to report any suspicious activity to us. We will examine all claims of fraud and reimburse customers where appropriate. We also recommend that customers visit the extensive information we have available about security and fraud protection at https://www.citizensbank.com/security/default.aspx."

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to contact their local police department.