Salem police detectives arrested three juveniles on attempted identity theft charges related to placing skimming devices on an ATM machine at a Salem credit union.
Officials were notified by a potential skimming victim that he found what appeared to be a skimming device on an ATM located at the Maps Credit Union at 4615 Commercial St SE, according to Salem police.
The customer went to the credit union on a Sunday morning and watched another vehicle linger at the ATM for an extended period of time. When the customer pulled up to the drive-through ATM, he noticed that the card slot on the machine looked unusual.
He pulled on the part that looked suspicious. After the part ripped off the ATM, the customer called Salem police.
Officers later located three California juveniles and released them to the Marion County Juvenile Detention Facility in Salem. The juveniles were not identified by Salem police.
The trio is facing charges of attempted aggravated identity theft and first-degree attempted aggravated theft.
Skimming refers to a crime where suspects use scanning devices disguised as legitimate card readers onto ATM machines, gas pumps and other devices where credit or debit cards are inserted to make transactions. The devices can obtain bank account and credit card information. Suspects often use this information to commit additional crimes including identity theft, fraudulant use of a credit card, theft and other fraud-related crimes.
Detectives also found other skimming devices in the suspects' vehicle that investigators believe were being prepared to be placed at other ATM locations.
Officials are trying to determine whether the juvenile suspects were also involved in a similar skimming incident at the Maps Credit Union in September 2017.
Investigators are working with other agencies to determine if the suspects are responsible for other incidents of skimming as well.
Additional criminal charges are pending, according to Salem police.
Salem police officials invite customers to be alert when swiping credit or debit cards in machines. Officials provide some questions to ask yourself when using ATM or similar machines:
- Does the machine look out of the ordinary?
- Do the various parts of the machine match the other parts?
- Is there anything loose on the machine, particularly the area where the card is inserted?
- Are any parts missing or different?
- Are there any people around who do not appear to have legitimate business there?