Two Marion County truck stops hit by ATM skimmer
Officials have found ATM skimming devices at two truck stops in northern Marion County.
On Dec. 17 and 18, Marion County Sheriff's Office deputies were called to the Flying J in Aurora and the Pilot truck stop in Brooks, both located along Interstate 5.
Deputies reportedly believe the skimming machines are related and may have been affixed to the machines by the same suspect.
ATM skimming machines are sophisticated electronics designed to read the magnetic strips on the back of ATM cards and, in this case, also video record the key pad as the unsuspecting victim enters their personal identification number.
According to aarp.org, there are six ways to protect you from ATM skimming:
1. Go to the bank. Although not immune to skimming, ATMs at banks are typically more secure — with their own 24/7 camera surveillance — and better maintained. Machines at convenient stores and other non-bank locations account for the majority of ATM compromises.
2. Inspect before using. Beware of ATMs whose card slots are a different color than the rest of the machine, have unusual equipment on the slot, keypad or sides, or overhead (which could hide a camera), or don't accept your card smoothly. If the slot is not securely attached, walk away. Newer ATMs have a flashing or steady light at the card slot. If it's obscured, suspect tampering.
3. Hide it. When entering a PIN, cover your hand as you press the numbers to protect personal information.
4. Keep close tabs on all payment cards. As with credit cards, most banks offer real-time alerts via text message or email on debit card transactions.
5. Create a separate account. Open a smaller account, separate from your primary checking account, and use it exclusively for debit card transactions. If the account is skimmed, the lower balance would limit your losses.
6. Lower your daily limit. Banks generally set a daily limit for ATM withdrawals, but you can request to have the amount of the limit reduced — say, $100 or less per day — to prevent scammers from making successive withdrawals within minutes.
MCSO is seeking any witnesses or information regarding the suspect pictured. Anyone with information is urged to call the tip line at 503-540-8079, or submit an anonymous tip on the MCSO Facebook page at Facebook.com/MCSOInTheKnow (click "submit a tip" on the left side of the page).