Ventura County Sheriff – Incident Press Release
Between April 13, 2021 and April 28, 2021, the Thousand Oaks Police Department, along with technicians from local banks, discovered five ATM debit card skimming devices installed inside the ATM’s. On April 13, 2021, the Thousand Oaks Police Department met with the ATM technicians and discovered that a “Deep Insert Skimmer” was located inside one of the walk-up ATM’s. On April 17, 2021, a second “Deep Insert Skimmer” was located at a bank drive-up ATM. On April 28, 2021, three additional “Deep Insert Skimmers” were located on three separate ATM’s at walk-up ATM’s.
A “Deep Insert Skimmer” is identified as a wafer-thin fraud device made to fit snugly and invisibly inside a cash machine’s card acceptance slot which captures access card data. Along with this device installed inside the ATM, the suspect’s will usually install a “Pin Hole Camera,” which is glued or taped to the outside of the ATM machine in place of plastic already part of the machine. The “Pin Hole Camera” is used to capture a victim’s personal identification number (PIN number). These skimming devices collect ATM and debit card data, which can later be used to make fraudulent withdrawals from the victim’s account.
During further investigation by the Thousand Oaks Police East County Investigations Financial Crimes Unit, it’s been determined that the fraudsters are targeting California Employment Development (EDD) debit cards. The EDD debit cards do not contain EMV chips, which encrypts the data, which allows fraudsters to skim the card data more easily.
The pictured suspects were captured on surveillance footage installing one of these skimming devices. Additional photos depict the skimming device and pin hole camera removed from one of the ATM’s. Anyone with information as to the identity of the suspects is encouraged to call investigators.
The Thousand Oaks Police Department and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office have seen a marked increase of skimmers being used in Ventura County recently. The Thousand Oaks Police and the Sheriff’s Office recommends if at all possible utilizing a different form of payment, enter the financial institution to take out cash, or take extra precautions when using an ATM, by covering the key pad with your other hand to block the view of your PIN entry.