PASO ROBLES — ATM skimmers were found at local banks on Spring Street last Friday, Aug. 18. At nearly 10 a.m. on Friday, Coast Hills Federal Credit Union, 1402 Spring St., contacted the Paso Robles Police Department to report their ATM service technician located a skimmer device in the outside branch ATM.

Officers arrived and took possession of the skimming device, and also discovered a small camera had been mounted into the frame of the ATM, which would allow for the recording of ATM card PIN information.

Employees at Coast Hills contacted other banks to alert them, and Premier Valley Bank, 1245 Spring St., also located a skimming device on their outside ATM. This device was also seized, and both are being analyzed for possible suspect information.

Initial findings in the ongoing investigation indicate that the skimming devices were illicitly installed at approximately 5:30 a.m. on the same day. A recent escalation in the discovery of such devices has been noted, with similar incidents reported at both Coast Hills Federal Credit Union and Bank of America on Spring Street. Customers who have frequented these or any other ATM locations in the vicinity are advised to closely monitor their banking activities for any suspicious transactions.

Skimming devices play a nefarious role in recording vital ATM card data. This pilfered information is then transferred onto blank cards equipped with magnetic strips, essentially cloning the victim’s ATM card. Furthermore, the hidden camera captures the victim’s PIN input. Once cloned and armed with the stolen PIN, culprits can withdraw funds from the victim’s bank account at any ATM, posing a grave threat to individuals’ financial security.

Authorities have provided an image showcasing the skimmer device (1) and the discreetly placed cameras (2 white objects) as part of their ongoing efforts to raise awareness about this growing issue.