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Greene County warned of ATM hacking crimes

Jan 12, 2011 8:18 am
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="200" caption="ATM being hacked in Durham last June, as captured by security camera and published in January 12 Daily Mail."][/caption]A nationwide cash machine scam struck Greene County last year and investigators are seeking tips on catching the suspect, Colin DeVries reports in today's Daily Mail. His story focus on a single instance caught on a security camera in Durham last June, but extrapolates that the incidence may be part of a larger trend that will grow now, at least according to local police.

Investigator S. Williams of New York State Police at Catskill said scammers learn about the hacking method from a “manual” on the Web. Apparently, master codes for various models of ATMs are readily available to hackers online, Williams said, and there are chat rooms where hackers freely exchange code numbers.

In this case, the ATM hacker used a Wal-Mart Visa gift debit card, easily purchased at any Wal-Mart store, and used an ATM master code obtained online to change the currency denominations. The suspect was then able to change the denominations from $20 to $1 at the Durham ATM, making the machine believe it was dispensing one-dollar bills when in fact it was dispensing twenties. For the suspect’s first unauthorized transaction, he requested $100 from the ATM and was dispensed $2,000. In another withdrawal, he prompted the machine to give him $20 and it dispensed $400 — spitting out 20 bills thinking each actual twenty-dollar bill was only a single. The suspect faces felony grand larceny charges and unauthorized use of a computer.

Last June, a white male with short dark-colored hair, wearing baggy jeans and an oversized button-down shirt, was photographed by security cameras at the Milk Run convenience shop on Route 145 in Durham hacking an ATM and stealing cash.

The man, state police said, stole $2,400 and used a method of hacking that has caught on around the nation.

While state police have been working with the FBI on this crime since last year, more information has been requested from the public or other agencies.

If anyone has any knowledge of this crime which occurred on June 14, 2010 at 9:08 a.m. and 10:48 a.m., contact New York State Police at Catskill by phone, 518-622-8600 and refer to case number 3580407.

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