ATM skimmers on the rise in Newport News

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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - A woman said she went to check her bank account Saturday morning when she noticed the balance was not where it was supposed to be. She believes she's the victim of an ATM skimmer.

"I realized it was a little less. It didn’t look right," said Shada Madriaga. She checked her activity and noticed two pending charges totaling close to $300 from stores she didn't even know.

After thinking back on her week, she realized she had been to an ATM a couple times earlier that week.

"But I never go to a 7-11, I always go to a Wells Fargo," said Madriaga. She asked Wells Fargo about how often they check for skimmers and they said daily. But Madriaga still feels like there may have been a window of opportunity.

“Now I know to be more cautious. You always hear about it but when I went into work today two people said it happened to them last week," said Madriaga.

According to bankrate.com, from Jan. 1 through April 9, 2015, skimming at bank-owned ATMs increased 175 percent year over year.

To protect yourself and your money:

  • study the card reader and give it a good tug or shake
  • look around for a place where a hidden camera may be lurking - this is where thieves use a camera to capture your pin number
  • turn "off" or freeze your card if you suspect you've been skimmed
  • check your statements frequently for purchases you didn't make