A Massapequa man is being praised by thousands on social media for tipping cops off to an ATM card skimmer at a 7-Eleven in Seaford.
Ryan Brady, 33, alerted Nassau County police to a card skimmer installed in the store’s ATM, and posted video to Facebook of cops removing the device on Feb. 17. His post has since been shared more than 200,000 times.
Brady said he went to the 7-Eleven on Sunrise Highway at about 6:30 p.m. Before using the ATM to withdraw cash, Brady pulled on the card reader — something he does before using any ATM to check for skimmers.
Brady said he became suspicious when he squeezed the card reader and it “flexed a little bit.”
That’s a telltale sign of an overlay-style skimmer, according to Ian Kidman, ATM hardware engineer for Hauppauge-based HTx Services. Overlay skimmers are easily installed on top of where customers insert their cards and will typically budge when pushed, Kidman said. The devices steal account numbers and customer information, allowing thieves to create their own fraudulent cards.
Small cameras are also installed to steal PIN numbers, Kidman said. Most are placed near the monitor or inside the skimmer, though the one Brady found was hidden right above the keypad.
Brady called Nassau County police, who came to the store and quickly removed the skimming device and camera.
Facebook users have used the comment section to thank Brady for his actions.
“I was hoping this would be popular because it’s the kind of thing people should know about,” Brady said about the post.
Overlay skimming devices are not used as commonly as they once were, in part because of the spread of ATMs that use chip card technology. The devices are more likely to be found on ATMs in retail and convenience stores, which have been slower to adopt anti-skimming detection, Kidman said.
Police said they’re actively investigating the incident.
Fazli Subhan, the 7-Eleven manager, said he and his staff do not know who installed the skimmers and are working with police in the investigation.
Nassau police offered the following tips for safe ATM transactions:
- Tug on the card reader. If it moves, the ATM may be unsafe to use.
- If there’s resistance when placing the card in the reader, the ATM may have been tampered with.
- Cover the keypad with your free hand while entering your PIN number. Do not rely just on the plastic security covers.