By Miriam Raftery
Photo: skimming device recovered by La Mesa Police Department
December 14, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) – Skimming devices attached by thieves to ATM machines and credit card devices have stolen money from consumers in multiple East County locations. Some even have tiny hidden cameras stealing pin codes.
Lieutenant Katy Lynch with the La Mesa Police department confirms, “It’s definitely a trend.” LMPD has launched a campaign to educate merchants and the public on how to protect consumers and help nab thieves behind these schemes.
In La Mesa alone, 12 cases of skimming have been reported in the past year, with others in adjacent communities. “Many cases go unreported to law enforcement,” says Lt. Lynch. She urges anyone who is a victim of a skimming scam, or who believes they have spotted a skimmer, to immediately alert law enforcement.
Showing a police report to banks or other financial institutions can help consumers recover money faster and also helps law enforcement catch the crooks, such as by identifying fingerprints or DNA on skimmers, and by asking businesses for surveillance videos. Businesses are encouraged to check their devices daily and report anything suspicious.