Three men have been arrested trying to 'skim' information from area banks.
They were caught in a multi-agency operation that included Tucson police, the Secret Service and the U.S. Postal Service.
Tucson police said on Feb. 3, they were made aware of a skimming device. It was reportedly installed at the Chase Bank on Grant and Silverbell.
The officers set up surveillance, and saw the suspects remove the skimming device from that ATM.
Police conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle the three men were in. However, before they stopped the suspects, police said they threw the skimming device out the window.
Police arrested 31-year-old Eric Barraza and 26-year-old Daniel Barraza. They were each charged with six felonies. That included fraud, identity theft, unlawful possession or use of a scanning device.
Balerio Torres, 39-year-old, was also arrested. He's charged with five felonies, almost identical to the other two. Torres was also charged with computer tampering.
He was also arrested by Pima County Sheriff's Fraud detectives last month. He bonded out on Jan. 8.
Sgt. Rick Radinsky with the Financial Crimes unit said the devices were designed to read the magnetic stripe data that is located in the back of the cards.
"As the device is put into the machine, the machine intercepts that data," said Radinsky. "That's why they have a camera installed so they can capture people’s hands as they are entering the numbers."
The accounts that were potentially compromised that evening were identified and the financial institutions were immediately notified.
Tucson police added the following tips when using an ATM.
1. Observe the ATM for signs of tampering. If parts of the machine seem loose, crooked or damaged, utilize a different machine.
2. Block the keypad with your hand when entering your PIN, to avoid undetected cameras from spying your secret code.
3. When the option is available, use interior ATMs over exterior ones. There is less access on interior machines for skimmers to be installed.
4. If you become aware of a skimmer device attached to an ATM, call 911.
5. Check your account activity often, and dispute fraudulent charges to your financial institution as soon as practical.
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