WASHINGTON — Police in D.C. are searching for several people they believe are connected to multiple card skimmers discovered in stores across the District.
According to a release from the Metropolitan Police Department, 10 card skimmers were found between Sept. 19 and Oct. 13.
A card skimmer is a device that can be placed on card readers and collects debit and credit card numbers. Thieves can later obtain that information and use it to make fraudulent purchases.
MPD says the devices were found in the following areas:
- Sept. 19: Business in the 4800 block of Nannie Helen Burrough Avenue in Northeast D.C.
- Sept. 27: Business in the 1200 block of Brentwood Road, Northeast D.C.
- Sept. 29: Business in the Unit block of Peabody Street, Northwest D.C.
- Oct. 1: Business in the 7400 block of Georgia Avenue, Northwest D.C.
- Oct. 7: Business in the 4300 block of Wisconsin Avenue, Northwest D.C.
- Oct. 7: Business in the 3400 block of Connecticut Avenue, Northwest D.C.
- Oct. 11: Business in the 300 block of Hawaii Avenue, Northwest D.C.
- Oct. 12: Business in the 3700 block of 12th Street, Northeast D.C.
- Oct. 13: Business in the 1700 block of Columbia Road, Northwest D.C.
- Oct. 13: Business in the 1500 block of Independence Avenue, Northeast D.C.
In eight of the incidents, the card skimmers were found by employees, according to MPD. Police claim officers found one of the skimmers while conducting business checks in the area.
Surveillance photos of multiple suspects were shared by police Thursday evening. In all of the photos, the suspects appear to be one man and one woman.
In the Oct.7 incident at a business on Wisconsin Ave., investigators claim the suspects walked up to the counter and placed the skimming device on the credit card reader while the clerk was distracted. The pair in the photos can be seen wearing a beige baseball cap and a dark-colored bucket hat.
Photos of the suspects in the incident at another business on Oct. 7 show two people wearing the exact same outfits as the suspects in the first reported card skimming case. Once again the pair is wearing the same beige cap and dark-colored bucket hat.
Days later, surveillance cameras captured the suspects police claim are responsible for the skimmer placed at an establishment on Hawaii Avenue on Oct. 11.
Two suspects are caught on camera placing an alleged card skimming device inside a business on Columbia Road on Oct. 13. The suspects, in this case, can be seen wearing dark jackets and light blue face masks.
The final set of surveillance photos are from the incident on Oct. 13 at a business on Independence Avenue. The pair of suspects in this skimming case can be seen wearing the same beige cap and dark-colored bucket hat.
Anyone with information is asked to contact MPD at (202) 727-9099 or text the department tip line at 50411.
Tips to avoid becoming the victim of a card skimmer:
- Make sure the device isn’t able to be moved or budges when touched
- Compare your machine to the one next to you, if applicable
- Check the alignment of the card reader and the panel underneath it
- Look inside the card reader before inserting your card
- If you see or suspect a card skimmer, please contact police immediately at 911
- Notify your bank immediately if you suspect you have been a victim of card skimming
Montgomery County Police are trying to identify a suspect connected to a series of "grandparent scams" involving seniors between 70 and 90 years old.
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