SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Santa Barbara police say ATM skimmers have struck again – and again – along the coast.
Dozens of Bank of America customers using Employment Development Department debit cards have reported unauthorized withdrawals.
Investigators are trying to find the people behind more than $50,000 dollars in fraudulent withdrawals.
They advise people with EDD or unemployment benefit cards to go inside to see a teller to avoid the skimming scam.
Felipe Sandoval banks at Bank of America and has an EDD debit card.
“I have my personal savings account with Bank of America plus my EDD benefits that I get. They are all through Bank of America, so I just wanted to come and take a look to speak to somebody, but I get here, and it is 5 o’clock and they are actually closed, so that is a bummer.”
The bank had a note taped to the door that sad it is closing at 4 p.m. rather than at 6 p.m.
In July, detectives released photos of a four-person crew suspected of stealing debit card information from ATM machines at Bank of America on upper State Street in Santa Barbara.
Now they are saying it is happening at branches up and down the coast.
Detectives said the men used a concealed skimming device to steal information. The suspects then used the stolen information to withdraw thousands of dollars from the victims’ accounts.
EDD debit cards do not have EMV security chips or magnetic strips making them easier to target.
Detectives believe the suspects may be operating in the early morning hours and even alongside legitimate customers.
Anyone with information regarding these crimes is urged to contact Santa Barbara police detective Kyle Rapp by email or at 805-897-2331.
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