Bank of America customers victimized by ATM skimmer

Suspect seen on surveillance camera

HOLIDAY, Fla. - Investigators in Pasco County say surveillance photos show a man in a Chicago Bears hat, armed with a tube of glue, going to work on a Bank of America ATM.

They say he installed a skimmer on the machine outside a branch in Holiday. Unsuspecting customers had no idea their account information was copied and eventually cloned onto other cards.

"Based on what we've seen, it looks like they would put it on in the early part of the the night, go back later that night and take it off. And that repeated over several days," said Detective John Suess with the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

So far, detectives say 44 accounts were compromised. And the thieves got away with more than $26,000. But they are afraid those numbers will go up as the investigation continues.

Maria Miaoulis works across the street from the ATM. She says she was recently victimized by another skimmer somewhere else and her account was emptied.

"I was out of town. Had I not had family there and there wasn't access to a bank, how would I have gotten any cash?" said Miaoulis.

She says in her case Bank of America was quick to notify her about the trouble with her account.  But it still caused her a major headache.

Bank of America says it's customers are protected by a $0 Liability Guarantee. They say they have a variety of ATM security measures in place and ask customers to let them know if anything seems unusual about their bank machines.

Authorities say some of the skimmers are so sophisticated even they have trouble identifying them at first glance. They advise customers to pay attention when swiping and it's best to use ATMs during business hours only.

They say while the case originated in Pasco County, the investigation is also ongoing in Clearwater and other areas of Pinellas County. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Suess at 1-800-854-2862, extension 7488.

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