Woman says crook stole $3,000 from her account using bank card skimmer

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COLONIE, NY (WRGB) We met Nicole Woodard at the Colonie Police station. She says she was just robbed by a skimming device.

“I used my card, someone got all my information, they got my pin number and then a few days later I lost $3,000 from my account,” Woodard said.

Woldard says the crook went on a shopping spree with her bank information.

“They used it at Bed Bath and Beyond, Target and then they tried using it at Walmart and that’s when I got the fraud alert,” Woodard said.

Colonie Police Lt. Bob Winn says there's been a recent string of skimming cases in our area.

“Since this weekend we have received between 10 and 12 reports of people, either their ATM card, their credit card or their identity was used to get money from their bank accounts,” Winn said.

Surveillance photos show the man police are looking for in connection to at least two of the recent cases. The surveillance images look almost identical, but were taken at different ATMs, on two separate dates.

One image shows him at the Colonie SEFCU on Wolf Road in May, and the other image shows him at the New Karner Road CAP COM at the end of June. In the CAP COM case, police got ahead of the suspect.

“We do have that skimming device in our possession,” Winn said.

A skimming device looks just like the card reader you insert your ATM card into, or the swiper you run your credit card through, only it helps crooks capture your bank info.

If you've seen any abnormal activity on your accounts police are urging you to report it immediately.

“That way you can take steps to protect your identity and help protect identity in the future,” Winn said.

There are some simple steps you can take right now to protect yourself from credit card skimmers:

1.) Wiggle the credit card reader before you insert your ATM card. A credit card skimmer is placed right onto the real reader, and will likely wiggle or fall off. It this happens, refrain from using the reader, and alert the business so they can alert authorities.

2.) Cover the keypad anytime you enter your pin number. Credit card skimmers have pinhole cameras so that crooks can see you enter your pin.

3.) Set-up alerts on your account so you can stop activity the moment any fraud occurs.

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