Cops are warning the public to be careful with their banking information, specifically PIN numbers, in the wake of a series of thefts from people’s accounts after they walked away from the ATM.
Deputy Inspector Richard DiBlasio, the commanding officer of the 68th Precinct, told this paper that three individuals – two teens and a man in his 40s — had recently been arrested as a result of an investigation by the precinct’s anticrime unit and charged with grand larceny and identity theft in connection with several such incidents in the 68th, 62nd and 70th Precincts.
The modus operandi, according to DiBlasio, involves the perps pretending to use an ATM but actually looking over as the customer next to them puts in his or her PIN. When that customer walks away, if he or she hasn’t actually closed out the account, the perp goes to the machine and, when prompted, puts in the other person’s PIN, withdrawing money.
“It’s good we made the arrest but there are others out there doing the same thing so you should always be cognizant of your personal identification information and be aware of your surroundings,” warned DiBlasio.
“Cover the ATM with one hand as you enter your PIN and make sure you are completely out of your account before you walk away,” he stressed, emphasizing that the three people who were arrested are not the only people perpetrating such crimes.