Skimmer found on Short North ATM, two men arrested

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Two men are accused of placing credit card skimmers on a chase bank ATM in the 600 block of North High Street in the Short North area.

The Columbus Police Fraud and Forgery Unit says the devices are only found on area ATMs a few times per year.

Two devices were used. One was placed over the area where you enter your bank card. A camera was placed over the pin pad to record pin numbers.

Columbus police sergeant Dennis Kline tells us they received a call at 6am on the May 27th informing them a skimmer was on the Chase Bank ATM in the Short North. After the device was described, police realized the battery necessary for it to operate would only last about 8-10 hours, so police sent undercover officers.

“The officers waited, two suspects did arrive recovering the skimming device from the ATM machine, they were apprehended”.

The two suspects, Kanyo Lazslo and Arnold Kolozsovari are both charged with unauthorized use of property. Police say neither are US citizens, both Lazslo and Kolozsovari are from Hungary and claim to not speak English. They were to appear in court Tuesday morning but that court date is being delayed so a Hungarian interpreter could be called in.

Police say this is the only ATM in our region that they know of that had skimmers placed by the pair, but others could have been placed in other states.

“Well they admitted that they were in another state,” said Kline. “We have information from the federal investigation that they’re doing this interstate”

Kline said the device contained information for bank accounts belonging to 83 people.

“Nobody’s information was used in this incident we were able to protect 83 people’s information that was loaded onto the device but it was not compromised. It was recovered before it could be used,” said Kline.

Short North residents are surprised to know this happened right in their neighborhood.

“I mean it’s almost unbelievable I mean it seems so high tech I guess from my perspective I thought people typically just over your shoulder when you’re putting in your information and that’s how they get it I didn’t think that they were using technology in that way,” said Jennifer McKenzie.

Sergeant Kline says some good ways to notice a skimmer on an ATM

  • Loose buttons on the keypad
  • If the card reader seems loose
  • If any of the colors don’t seem right like bright blue or yellow where it’s typically a gray pattern
  • If the device to swipe your card seems too thin or flimsy.

If you notice any of these signs inform the bank immediately or call police.

Prosecutors are asking for a high bond for Lazslo and Kolozsovari saying that they are a flight risk. They are scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.

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