ATM skimmers hit Paducah bank as police look for couple

Outside bank ATMs are becoming the go-to target for thieves.  Paducah police say a couple installed a skimming device at the Banterra Bank on Hinkleville Road earlier this month.

"It’s kind of scary," remarked Richard Sicken. 

He thought his personal banking information was protected, but now he’s not so sure.  A skimmer fits over the card reader and secretly stores your personal data.  Those looking to make a quick buck can take off with the device which also has a hidden camera to record your pin number. 

"I thought the ATMs at banks would be more secure than like a gas station pump," Sicken said. 

Sicken has heard of skimmers at gas stations which is why he never pays at the pump.  Banterra Bank Marketing Director Jennifer Spence said as crooks get smarter, banks must be one step ahead.

"It’s going to get more and more technology driven and we’re aware of that and we try to stay ahead of the curve," Spence said. 

There are things you can do to protect yourself: 

  • Avoid ATMs on the weekend when banks are closed or have limited hours
  • Check the keypad to see if there is a fake overlay 
  • Jiggle the card reader to see if it’s secure
  • Cover your hands when you enter your pin. 

Sicken said he’s now going to be extra cautious considering someone’s already stolen his identity.

"I remember I got a phone call at like 2:30 in the morning one night and someone had made a transaction of l90 cents online and they’re like, ‘Did you just purchase a stick of gum online?’  I was like, ‘No.’

One of the best ways to catch when skimming or other fraud has occurred is:

  • Utilize your bank’s free mobile app.
    • Check account balances daily.
    • Review account balance after utilizing an ATM or other transactions
    • Turn your debit card(s) on or off in case lost, stolen or signs of fraud
  • Sign up for Custom Email Alerts from Banterra that can notify you of when :
    • Your debit card transaction was approved or denied (in essence, you can be notified for every transaction that is made with your card).
    • Your balance gets low
    • Your checks have cleared
    • A bill payment is sent
  • Utilize Banterra’s SmartChoice Checking

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