Bank card skimmer active in Qualicum Beach

Both the Royal Bank and CIBC bank machines are believed to have been hit by card skimmer on Saturday

Police released this surveillance photo of a suspected bank card skimmer in Qualicum Beach

Police released this surveillance photo of a suspected bank card skimmer in Qualicum Beach

Police this week warned anyone who used either the Royal Bank or CIBC bank machines in Qualicum Beach to beware. Their banking information may have been accessed by thieves.

Oceanside RCMP sergeant Darrell Robertson said a bank card reading device was spotted by an alert bank worker at the Royal Bank and reported to police just before 1 pm. Saturday.

Police attended the bank and determined that the card reader had already been removed. Security camera images were obtained, showing a male suspect removing the device from the bank machine.

Police scoured the area with foot patrols but were unable to find the suspect. Checks of other nearby ATM machines found a reader installed at the CIBC bank machine, along with a very small video camera. Both were seized by police.

Downtown businesses were canvassed by police, who circulated a picture of the suspect, but he remains unidentified.

Anyone with information on the identity of this man is asked to call the Oceanside RCMP at 250-248-6111, or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Robertson said this sort of scam generally involves the storage of a victim’s electronic bank card information by the card reading device.  The device is inserted into the ATM card slot and a small camera is utilized to obtain the PIN numbers entered for each card inserted into the ATM.

The culprits then replicate a bank card using the data obtained by the reader.  The replicated card, coupled with the PIN, can allow them access and use of the funds associated with that account.

Robertson said police will continue to work with both banks to determine the number of potential victims impacted by this crime.

Anyone who recently utilized the ATM machines at either the Royal Bank in Qualicum Beach or the CIBC Bank in Qualicum Beach, may find their accounts compromised and are urged to  review their banking records and immediately report any issues to the customer service department of their bank.