TAMPA — Hillsborough sheriff's deputies are looking for a man accused of stealing credit card information from ATMs, a crime that has been reported daily in the area.
On April 16, a man was seen removing two security mirrors and attaching a credit card skimming device to an automated teller machine at a Chase bank at 1101 W Brandon Blvd., according to the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office. He later removed the device.
The man was seen the next night in Valrico at an ATM at 2615 State Road 60. Later that night, a woman reported a suspicious looking man at a Causeway banking center. She noticed tape over a camera at the ATM.
The man was white, 40 to 50 years old, about 5 feet 10 to 6 feet and weighing 220 to 230 pounds. He was in a black Ford pickup.
Authorities say the use of inexpensive credit card skimming devices is surging. The devices are most commonly used at ATMs, gas station pumps and restaurants, said Cpl. David Waytovitch, a supervisor in economic crimes for the Sheriff's Office.
The devices, mounted on card readers, pick up information as users swipe their cards. Thieves often use the stolen credit card information to buy TVs or computers. Others go straight for cash from an ATM, Waytovitch said.
He advised users to be cautions.
Don't use an ATM with tape over a camera or one where the device for entering a credit card is loose, he said. Look for a camera with a view of the keypad.
Try to pay with cash or credit cards at restaurants to avoid the possibility of a waiter swiping the information and quickly making a withdrawal from a debit account. At a gas station, only use the pumps that are most visible to a clerk.