Card skimming device found in ATM of downtown hotel

(WISH Photo/Laura Kennedy)
(WISH Photo/Laura Kennedy)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — IMPD detectives are investigating after a credit card skimmer was found in an ATM at a downtown hotel.

It was discovered Sunday by employees of the Omni Severin hotel in downtown Indy on an ATM in the hotel’s lobby.

Several ATM skimming machines have been found in Indianapolis and surrounding communities just this year.

In this most recent case, the hotel believes it was found before any information was stolen from customers.

Guests of the Omni Severin hotel are the latest victims of criminals targeting ATMs.

“They were able to recover that skimming device and they’re going over surveillance video and different evidence to see if they can track down a suspect in that case,” IMPD Officer Jim Gillespie said.

Luckily in this case, the hotel reports it located and removed the skimmer before any guests used it.

But that’s not often the case.

Gillespie explains how criminals use the devices that are secretly placed inside the machines.

“You’re not going to notice it necessarily, but what it’ll do is it’ll collect that credit card information and store it,” he said.

Then criminals use the information against victims to make fraudulent purchases.

Police are finding more and more of these devices on ATMs and gas pumps.

“It’s definitely on our radar,” Gillespie said, “We’re always looking out for it and we do have procedures in place to collect the skimmers to help retain as much evidence as possible.”

He said it’s often up to the public to be aware and be careful.

“No, I don’t use those at all,” Resident Monique Hampton said, “I primarily just go to my bank’s ATM.”

“Check with your financial institutions and say, ‘hey how often do you guys check your ATMs to make sure they haven’t been tampered with?'” Gillespie said.

The Omni Hotel sent a statement regarding the skimmer that said:

It did come to our attention that a credit card skimmer had been located in one of our ATM’s. We identified the skimmer within minutes of placement – before any guests used the machine and thus, to our knowledge, none of our guests were affected. The incident was immediately reported to the police, and any further questions can be directed to them.