Gramercy Park Block Association - Neighborhood News #563

The Gramercy Park Block Association invites you to 
the 13th Precinct Community Council Meeting - Tues. 6/17
When:  Tuesday, June 17th - 6:30 p.m. 
Where: 13th Precinct station house 
              E 21st St between 2nd and 3rd avenues

The meeting is open to the public. Officers from the 13th Precinct will give updates on crime in the neighborhood, and you are welcome to express your personal concerns about any quality of life or safety issues. 

Please see the Crime Prevention tip below.



Protect YOUR Identity from ATM skimming

Theft of credit/debit card information at ATM machines is a crime increasing in frequency. A criminal attaches a phony card reading device over the authentic card reader. The skimming device may be at the lobby entrance door or on the ATM machine itself. The phony device looks identical to the real device and is equipped with electronic recorders that will capture your financial information from your card.  This data is used to create "cloned" cards which will be used to withdraw money from your account. 


Please consider the following Crime Prevention tips when using an ATM:


When you use an ATM after banking hours, and need to use a card to enter a bank, it is recommended that you use 2 different cards; a credit card to enter the lobby, and your bank card for the ATM machine itself.


For a thief to access your account, they need 1) account information on the magnetic strip on the back of your bank card 2) your PIN code.


If there is a skimming device on the door entry mechanism, and you use a credit card to enter, thieves only obtain information on the credit card. Although this is not a good thing, it is still not what they need. They are looking for information on your bank debit card's magnetic strip.


To collect PIN codes, thieves place pinhole cameras in banks pointed at the ATM keyboards. Pinhole cameras are concealed in walls, ceilings adjacent to the ATM. To prevent a camera from filming you typing your PIN, we recommend shielding the keyboard with your body and covering the keyboard with your non-typing hand.


Thieves need BOTH your PIN code and the information on your card's magnetic strip. Employing these tips and denying them one or both pieces of information will go a long way towards preventing them from accessing your bank account.


Banks are working on solving this problem, but until then you might also consider looking into whether your bank has a fraud alert security program.