The King County Sheriff’s Office – which contracts with the City of Burien for its police department – is warning residents about recent discoveries of “skimming devices” being attached to ATMs at credit unions:

Stop thieves from skimming your cash.

In the last four days deputies with King County Sheriff’s Office have investigated three incidents of unknown suspects attaching skimming devices to ATMs located at credit unions in Shoreline and Woodinville. These devices were so cleverly installed that they were only discovered by persons servicing the machines.

Skimming devices, as these photos show, are nearly impossible to spot. Skimmers, concealed somewhere in the ATM, act like a silent thief and steal the 16-digits of your credit or debit card. A nearby camera or other device captures your PIN. When thieves combine these two pieces of information they have an electronic key to your cash.

We can take steps to protect ourselves. Be mindful of ATM keypads that appear crooked or poorly installed. Look for any signs of tampering on the face of the ATM. Cover your hand when entering your PIN so a remote camera won’t capture these digits. Lastly, consider on-line or mobile banking tools that will alert you to suspicious or fraudulent activity. Just a few steps can prevent ATM thieves from cleaning you out.


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