Bank of America Branch Targeted by ‘Shoulder Surfers’

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SACRAMENTO --

Criminals don't take a break on the holidays, and that's evident by a recent string of thefts at a local Bank of America ATM.

A Sacramento Bank of America was hit three times since November by shoulder surfers targeting ATMs, and the latest incident happened on Christmas Eve.

Thomas Jones was a victim of this crime where people pay close attention customers making ATM transactions to steal their pin information.

"They made four transactions within a minute on my account," said Jones.

Jones went to this Bank of America on Broadway where he took out $40. He soon found out someone accessed his account after he left and took out another $700.

"Two people were standing next to me," Jones said. "They were fidgeting with the machine saying it didn't work, and then they were over my shoulder and got close to me, and I finished my transaction."

Jones said he didn't think anything of their strange behavior until he got an email from the bank just minutes after he left saying they was unusual activity on his card.

The Sacramento Police Department warns ATM users to complete transactions before walking away. If the system doesn't log you out it gives criminals a chance to access your account with your PIN number right after you leave.

Other tips from the Sac PD include being aware of your surroundings, reporting any suspicious activity and filing a police report if this does happen to you.

There is some good news for Jones, Bank of America refunded his money.

Bank of America said they take a lot of steps to insure customer safety. When asked why their ATM machines are set-up so people can walk away while the machine is still active, they had no comment saying they don't talk about their security protocols.

The Sacramento Police Department said when these three recent shoulder surfing reports were filed they were filed under different types of crimes making it more difficult to track just how often it happens.