CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Police continue searching for the suspects who installed skimmers on automated teller machines in Charlotte.
Police reports show officers seized an SD card, a flat metal item with wires, and circuit boards connected to a phone battery attached to an ATM in Uptown at 301 South Tryon Street.
Investigators say they also found a device on Couloak Drive at the State Employees Credit Union, where thieves were caught on camera installing the devices.
Crimestoppers posted a tweet warning about multiple cases in the Queen City. Alexa Gidney says that’s when she connected the dots.
“They got me good, and it’s affecting me pretty hard,” Gidney said. “I was depositing that day and didn’t notice anything off, so that’s why it came as a big shock to me; that’s where my money was taken.”
Gidney says she recently visited an ATM on Central Avenue in Plaza Midwood. She says she walked up and deposited cash at the machine, and a week later, she says her account showed a withdrawal for $300 at the same location.
She says Wells Fargo blocked an $83 transaction from a local bar on the same day.
“I still physically have my card, so there’s no way that was me making the withdrawals; it was pretty upsetting,” Gidney said.
The FBI says the skimming devices fit over the original card reader storing data scammers download and make into fake cards later. The devices are sold on the dark web, and sometimes thieves install tiny cameras to capture you using your PIN.
As police continue the search for the swindlers, Gidney is grateful the bank flagged the fraud.
“Be careful inserting your card everywhere, even at the gas station; just use Apple Pay when you can,” Gidney said.
Gidney says she didn’t immediately report this to the police because Wells Fargo had already launched an investigation.
Police encourage victims to report cases because that helps investigators collect evidence to build a case against the suspects.
Queen City News reached out to Wells Fargo to ask how many victims and skimmers have been found. A spokesman says the company cannot reveal the details “as doing so could compromise [its] ability to prevent future incidents.”
Wells Fargo encourages customers to use contactless debit or credit cards.