Local News

Raleigh Police Warn Of ATM Scheme

Posted October 10, 2003 4:39 a.m. EDT

— Raleigh police said it appears that a group, comprised of at least three people, has devised a scheme to defraud ATM customers in Raleigh, but they have been caught on camera in the process.

According to police, the group uses a technique that can cause the next bank card inserted into an ATM to become lodged inside the machine. Next, one of two things happens: either the card is extracted by the suspects after the customer gives up and leaves or the suspects offer to "help" the victim try to get the card back.

Under the first scenario, purchases are soon made with the card, and under the second one -- if the suspect can convince the victim to disclose their PIN number -- cash may be stolen as well, police said.

The ATM at the First Citizens Bank at 2100 New Bern Ave. has been the site of four instances of the crime and police said it is possible that it may have occurred elsewhere. The First Citizens branch has a surveillance system and photos of three suspects and the car they have been captured on tape.

"By the time people realize what has happened they are victims," said Raleigh Police Department Lt. John Lynch. "The bank has been very helpful in this investigation; now our best hope is going to rest with getting assistance from the public. The pictures are good, and we hope someone will call us with a tip."

Anyone with information that might help solve the case is urged to call the Raleigh Police Department at (919) 890-3555.