Hillsborough and Burlingame police are investigating thefts committed from residents who used their debit or credit cards at a US Bank and had their information hijacked through a skimming device, a captain said Thursday.
The thefts were committed Jan. 26 and 27 and Feb. 3, at the US Bank, 1423 Burlingame Ave., according to Hillsborough police Capt. Doug Davis.
Someone placed skimming devices under the ATM card pad, allowing crooks to record personal information gleaned from users, Davis told Patch.
Hillsborough police heard about it from a resident in February, Davis said.
"Secondarily, Burlingame PD also experienced a similar fraud," the captain told Patch.
"It's our belief that it's been used several times," Davis said in an interview.
"I think it's been used on several occasions."
Investigators are going through surveillance video from the bank and also from surrounding businesses, looking for any untoward activity at the ATM.
However, cautioned Davis, it is not always easy to spot when a crook places a skimmer on the pad.
"It's a very, very short period of time," Davis told Patch.
Once a skimmer is in place, cards put into the ATM first pass through the device and then into the banking machine.
Users are not even aware that their information has been hijacked, the captain said.
"These are people that obviously have some technical experience," the captain said, but added that the criminals are not rocket scientists either.
"It's becoming less and less of what I call a high-tech crime," he said.
Davis said the bank is working with police to solve the crimes and prevent any more such activity.
In the meantime, police and the bank are working to reimburse the victims.
"We're trying to make sure that the victims are made whole again," Davis said.
Residents are urged to keep tabs on their banking activity, easy to do now with online banking and alerts, Davis said.