The NYPD is calling on the public to help them track down a ring of thieves who used ATMs at two Sovereign Bank branches on Staten Island to rob customers of roughly half a million dollars. Police have released surveillance photos of three suspects who installed "skimmers" on the banks' ATM machines that grabbed data from the magnetic strips on the back of bank cards. They also attached tiny cameras in the lighted signs over the ATMs that videotaped customers' PINs. The suspects were then able to transfer that info onto a blank card and withdraw money from the victims' accounts. The bank has refunded customers, but Deputy Inspector Gregory Antonsen tells the Daily News that New Yorkers should monitor their accounts closely: "This crew is sophisticated. And they are coming up with new ways to steal your identity every day." Anyone ready to snitch can call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS or submit their tips online via the Crime stoppers Web site. ATM skimming is an ongoing problem for banks and their customers; in 2006 thieves scored $100,000 from 50 Washington Mutual accounts.
ATM Scam on Staten Island Nets Crooks $500K
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