Wachovia ATM Skimmer Nets $60K

Device Discovered by ATM Technician in VA Criminals in Alexandria, VA, stole more than $60,000 using a skimming device installed on an ATM at a Wachovia Bank branch last month.

The skimming device was found by an ATM technician on February 28. The technician took photos of the device and then went inside the bank to report it, says Alexandria police detective David Hoffmaster. By the time the technician came back, the device had been removed.

Customers have already contacted the bank to report fraudulent transactions on their ATM cards. Police say the device enabled the criminal to steal customers' account numbers and possibly even the PINs. Hoffmaster says the police department is continuing to investigate.

When asked for details about how the incident happened, bank spokesperson Richele Messick would not give further information, citing security concerns.

WellsFargo bought Wachovia Bank in 2008, and Messick says the two banks deploy a variety of technologies to help reduce the effectiveness of skimming attacks. "No solution is 100 percent effective," Messick says. "We test new security devices and technology to safeguard our ATMs and other devices from fraudulent activity. Because we don't want to compromise those efforts, we are unable to discuss them in detail."

Messick adds that Wachovia and WellsFargo offer customers affected by any type of fraud full reimbursement; debit and credit card customers are protected by Wachovia's "Zero Liability" policy.

"Our policy provides cardholders with zero liability if their credit card, ATM Card or check card is ever lost, stolen or used without authorization and the cardholder provides us with prompt notification," Messick says.

About the Author

Linda McGlasson

Linda McGlasson

Managing Editor

Linda McGlasson is a seasoned writer and editor with 20 years of experience in writing for corporations, business publications and newspapers. She has worked in the Financial Services industry for more than 12 years. Most recently Linda headed information security awareness and training and the Computer Incident Response Team for Securities Industry Automation Corporation (SIAC), a subsidiary of the NYSE Group (NYX). As part of her role she developed infosec policy, developed new awareness testing and led the company's incident response team. In the last two years she's been involved with the Financial Services Information Sharing Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), editing its quarterly member newsletter and identifying speakers for member meetings.

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