NEW YORK – A team of clever crooks ripped off more than $100,000 from at least 50 unsuspecting ATM users in Chinatown and on Staten Island in one of the largest ever info-heists from city banks, police said yesterday.
The bank-machine bandits attached equipment to the ATMs at two Washington Mutual bank locations and stole card information over the past few months, cops said.
After police received complaints from various banks that 52 accounts had been depleted, investigators tracked locations where the customers' cards were used.
Cops also launched a separate investigation when a customer noticed extra equipment was attached to one of the machines.
They found the crooks had attached "skimming devices" and video cameras on ATMs located in bank lobbies at 2626 Hylan Blvd, on Staten Island and 221 Canal St. in Manhattan.
The electronic spying devices in the card-readers captured every customer's card number, and a bogus camera filmed their personal identification number when it was typed into the keypad.
The suspects then downloaded the stolen information onto bogus blank cards and used them to withdraw cash at other bank locations.
The three men responsible are unidentified, but their images were captured on bank surveillance cameras.
"We've seen this before, this is not common, but it is one of the largest scams we have seen," said a police spokesman.