NOVI (WWJ) – Oakland County Sheriff’s investigators are looking to identify five suspects who made off with half a million dollars from multiple Metro Detroit bank and credit union ATMs.
Federal agents are also involved in the investigation of “ATM skimming” in Novi, Wixom, Ferndale, Westland, Livonia, Commerce Township and West Bloomfield Townships.
Lt. Clay Jansson said ATM skimming is an elaborate scheme in which thieves use a false card slot that is affixed to the machine, disguised to look like legitimate ATM equipment. That slot reads card numbers and transfers the information to the criminals who are usually sitting in a nearby car. The scammers, at the same time, use a hidden wireless camera that allows them to watch as ATM users enter their PIN numbers.
“Then, of course, they make duplicate card and then go to your account and use your PIN number to take money out,” Jasnsson said.
“(People) just need to be aware of the ATM machine that they go to, that it doesn’t look any different then maybe the last time they were there,” he said. “There is some equipment, external equipment, hooked to the ATM … and it is recognizable if you’re really looking for it. Otherwise it just kind of fits right into the scheme of what you’re doing and you probably wouldn’t give it a second look.”
Investigators say the five suspects (pictured above) have been using a blue 2010 Ford Fusion.
A cash reward is being offered for tips leading to an arrest in the case.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office at 248-858-4950 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SpeakUp. Tipsters may remain anonymous.