If you’re at an ATM machine and someone is behind you, or just hanging around, BE AWARE!! That person or persons might be scamming their way into your bank account and rob you blind!
An ATM scammer by the name of Arthur Lefco of Portland has just been sentenced to prison for scamming people using ATM machines by observing their ATM access code being entered on the ATM keypad and after they walk away gain access to the card user’s account.
“In this case, the defendant would act as if he was a customer in line waiting to use an ATM,” said Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Kevin Demer, who prosecuted the case. “As he waited, he would watch other customers and attempt to memorize their personal identification numbers as they were entered into the keypad. Once the customer left the ATM, the defendant would quickly go up to the machine before the last session timed out and would enter the customer’s PIN, giving him essentially unlimited access to cash.”
The Portland Police Bureau worked closely with the financial industry to identify the ATM locations Lefco was targeting in northeast and downtown Portland. He was arrested after detectives conducted a surveillance mission.
Authorities encourages everyone to exercise extreme caution while using an ATM so they don’t become victims of identity theft. ATMs are tremendously convenient, but if people aren’t careful when using them, theft of funds can happen in a matter of seconds.
* Before approaching an ATM, check your surroundings for anyone who appears suspicious or who is loitering;
* Check the ATM’s card reader to ensure no skimming or unauthorized card readers have been installed;
* Check the machine itself for any hidden cameras;
* Continue to check your surroundings while at the machine – avoid being distracted;
* When you are finished with your transaction, never walk away from the machine until it has reset itself for a new customer;
* If given an option to conduct a second transaction, always click “no” before leaving the machine;
* Report any unusual activity or persons to bank employees or local law enforcement.
The investigation into Lefco revealed that between May 10, 2017 and June 25, 2017, he attempted access on 53 separate victims. He was successful in accessing customer’s accounts 18 times in that 47 day period. Lefco made a payment of $10,516 in restitution to his victims.