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Potential ATM fraud in Logan Circle

by Prince Of Petworth February 29, 2016 at 3:00 pm 54 Comments

atm fraud
Stock photo by PoPville flickr user Elliot Mitchell

“Dear PoPville,

Thought your readers in the Logan Circle area may be interested in some apparent suspicious dealings involving the 7-Eleven ATM at 14 and Rhode Island NW.

I moved to DC a week or so ago AND have only used my debit card one place in DC – the ATM in 7-eleven at 14 and RI. Yesterday, someone used a cloned copy of my card at a td bank ATM in DC to steal $1100 from my account. Seems highly suspicious to say the least. If you use this ATM, I recommend being extra vigilant and maybe changing your PIN.”

  • stacksp

    Skimmers were found at another 7-11 not to long ago. I believe it was the 7-11 in Mitchelville Plaza.

    • Anon Spock

      Also in Alexandria.

      • stacksp

        This is why some people do carry cash. Pull a couple hundred out for the week from the teller and draw on that each day.

        Amazing what you have to watch our for these days.

        • oh2dc

          What’s a teller?

          • stacksp

            Bank teller inside a branch

    • anongardener

      Yes, skimmers were found at several 7-11s in Bowie last week.

  • Anon Spock

    I always tug on the reader before using atms in case a skimmer is present. Sorry they got you buddy.

  • Cleo42

    Oh my god! I realized this weekend that this happened to me and I KNOW it was at that 7-11 cause it’s the only place I’ve used my ATM card. They did two transactions of 500 each. Never going in that store again.

    • Cleo42

      Correction: I use the one at 15th and L. Definitely a racket going on.

      • FridayGirl

        I have not been to any ATM in DC for a couple months (none of them at 7-11) but someone got my card about two weeks ago, and a friend of mine’s too. Wtf.

        • Anon Spock

          Could be skimmers bumping the info through your wallet/bag. I recommend a rfid wallet. I haven’t had any issues since using 1 after multiple breaches. You will have to take your smartrip out to use it though.

          • wdc

            You should be taking your smart trip out anyway. So irritating to stand behind someone who is repeatedly slamming their four-inch-thick wallet on the reader. (Or, I swear to god I’ve seen this, someone who is whacking the whole turnstile with a giant handbag.) It’s not as if the need for the card sneaks up on you and takes you by surprise.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Was that comment in relation to anything? I carry a flat card-holder style wallet. It contains my driver’s license, SmarTrip, one credit card, health insurance card, and nothing else. SmarTrip works fine without removing. Thanks for the tip, though!

          • dc_anon

            Credit cards aren’t rfid, just your passport and smartrip, you can’t skim cards through your wallet.

          • Anon Spock

            There is video of it being done on the news, so I’ll politely disagree & suggest you do a little research on the topic.

          • HaileUnlikely

            I think dc_anon is making a technical distinction regarding whether what you are describing is properly referred to as “skimming” or something else. There’s another word for that sort of data-stealing; I don’t remember (nor care) what it is, though.

          • Cleo42

            This wasn’t a cc breach – it was ATM. So they had to have both my card no and my pin no. So those rfd wallets wouldn’t have done anything. This is a situation with a skimmer on the ATM plus a camera aimed at my fingers to catch my pin as I enter it.

  • Michael

    Happened to me yesterday, too! Those villains made three withdraws at the Wells Fargo on Connecticut and L.

  • Kathryn-DC

    I am so sorry that some of you had to go through this.

    I’m curious to know if the people who got hit this way had chip cards or regular debit cards that haven’t been upgraded yet. Wondering if this chip actually offers any protection from skimming.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Negative to that. All of the critical info is still encoded on the magnetic strip as well, so that your card will still work with the large proportion of machines that do not yet have the technology to read the strip.

      • HaileUnlikely

        meant “…that do not yet have the tech to read the *chip*

        • ash

          Beat me to it. That’s what I thought.

    • ash

      I could be wrong (and I’m sure someone will point out if so) but I think the chip only helps if the machine is set up to process it. I got skimmed using my chip card on an older ATM that was set up to only read the magnetic strip, not the chip.

    • MtP

      As alluded to above, the chip actually makes it LESS secure. Same problems still exist with the strip, and there is technology that can get chip information from being within close proximity to the chip. This is why using the chip technology without a PIN is just idiotic. The chip is more secure, but ONLY IF it is implemented with the PIN. I have zero clue why we aren’t doing that in this country like it is done throughout Europe.

      • tke98

        +100 to “The chip is more secure, but ONLY IF it is implemented with the PIN. I have zero clue why we aren’t doing that in this country like it is done throughout Europe.”

        Last week, I had a disheartening conversation with my credit union about their upcoming conversion to the chip technology. I asked if they would require a PIN to complete each transaction under the revised system and was told they would not. People would have the option of using a PIN or signing. I told the agent that still using signed transactions goes against the purpose of the chip. She said, well the signatures must match the one on file, and I just shook my head and realized the conversation was going nowhere. Because one out of every 100 transactions actually check a signature.

        • U neighbor

          I would argue it’s closer to zero out of every 1000000 transactions. For a decade now I’ve just scribbled nonsense when I sign at the grocery, every single time. Initially out of rebellion (to prove it’s dumb) and now out of habit. Even with chip upgrade, I’ve never once got stopped. The whole system is a joke.
          Just make sure you’re with a bank that has good fraud protection.

      • Anonymous

        I think that the main reason that banks and businesses have resisted the conversion to chip and PIN technology is that the cost of any necessary upgrades is seen as far greater than the cost of dealing with theft. Regulators could step in and force the upgrades to happen, but cardholders aren’t really clamoring for the change. If banks stopped covering losses from stolen cards that would change everything.

        • Marty

          and the added time of processing the chip transaction. We Americans are busy people, ya know.

          • Jen

            My bank told me they weren’t going to be using chip & pin because Americans won’t be able to remember all the pin that would go along with our cards. Thanks for assuming we’re all idiots.

            I actually tracked down 2 credit union cards that are supposed to work as chip & pin. Both times they’ve been used they’ve failed with the chip & pin functions. Super annoying. Chip & signature is stupid.

  • Rich

    Often use this ATM but haven’t in a few weeks. I’ll stay away in the foreseeable future. ATMs at 7-11s are linked to credit union networks without any fees involved, among others, so they get heavy use.

  • tom

    How do people install these skimmers inside the ATMs? Since these ATMs are inside the store, could they be installed without the stores knowing about it?

    • Anon Spock

      It’s on the exterior of the atm…a cap of sorts over the normal scanner. If you’re sort of sneaky or the atm is in an out of the way location, installing it would be pretty easy. Usually they’re at a minimum in the very back of the store.

      • Marty

        and $500 for the clerk to be busy restocking the Coke at the time you walk in helps too.

        • Anon Spock

          Given the layouts of 7-11, I don’t think you even need to bother.

      • Cleo42

        They used my card for ATM withdrawals, so this is card no plus pin no. Meaning there has to be a camera aimed at your fingers in addition to the skimmer. In my opinion, it has to be an inside job (hence me avoiding that shop now). I don’t think someone could set up a camera without catching the attention of the person working there.

        • -A

          not sure about that. it’s way in the back and pretty isolated. cameras can be tiny. if it can be done in the time for a long ATM transaction, don’t see why it has to be an inside job.

  • Lauren

    My credit card got skimmed there right after the holidays. I had some weird activity in my bank account but thankfully my bank was able to stop the fraud. Don’t use these machines!!!

  • Anon

    This store replaced their atm machine recently according to someone affected.

    • -A

      It’s been the same ATM since I moved here (I’m the OP).

  • Karin

    Sorry to hear that this happened to you in your first week here. I have been the victim of identity theft several times, including last year when criminals filed taxes with the IRS using my SS#and received a refund!

    Be careful out there!

  • RGG

    Same here…$1,000 (2 consecutive transactions of 400 and 600) removed from my checking acct. yesterday at BofA ATM on K St. This happened within an hour of me using my ATM card at the BP gas station near 9th & N NW near convention center.

    • JohnH

      Make sure to report these things to the police even if your bank takes care of the fraud (obviously ATMs have cameras police can use to ID)…and to report to the places of business directly too.
      This is overly paranoid, but I did see something about using the pumps closest to the attendant at gas stations as the skimmers usually target the pumps furthest away and not facing the attendant as well (less likely to be caught in the act).

  • Manamana

    I use that ATM all the time. Thank you for sharing this!!

    • yupyup

      They waited exactly one week before ripping me off (no real money in my account but because I have overdraft protection, my bank gave ’em $480)… so keep an eye out. In many cases your liability is limited only if you report within 2 days!

      • -A

        same – withdrew on 2/20, got hit 2/28

  • kittycatbob

    I thought everyone knew that ATM machines in convenience stores and were shady and knew not to use them. The only ATMs I use anymore are ones at the bank.

    • marybindc

      Like Rich said above, many credit unions offer free withdrawals from 7-11s. Handy when your bank is on a military base that you can’t access, or across the country.

  • RGG

    Just wanted to clarify about my earlier post about the $1,000 taken from my checking acct. shortly after visit to BP gas station near 9th & N, NW–I used my card at the pump–not to w/d cash from an ATM machine. Unlike some people I suppose, I am one to notice if $1,000 goes missing from my checking acct., lol! At any rate, BofA put the funds back in and I filed fraud report with them and will also contact MPD.

    • Johnh

      I’d also contact the BP station. Gas stations take this pretty seriously (for obvious reasons).

  • AndrewInDC

    The same thing happened to me multiple times last year. All retail charges, including at Tiffany’s in Las Vegas. I figured it was either skimming in cabs or the 7-11 ATM. Then, around Christmas time, someone withdrew $980 from a TD Bank in Brooklyn. They not only got the card number, but my PIN too. I’ve since stopped using my debit card anyplace but my bank. And I changed my PIN. Fortunately, my bank covered all the fraudulent charges. Of course, stay away from the ATM at the Rhode Island and 14th 7-11!

  • AyVee

    Got me also, at the 14th & RI 7-11. Last time I used the ATM was probably early Feb. Fraud monitoring finally paid off!

  • Zoey

    This happened to me at the same ATM. I was in there a week or so ago, and someone took $1000 out of my account on Sunday night.

  • Anon

    Same thing happened to me at this ATM a few weeks ago, I’m definitely sharing with my bank. Thank you for posting!

  • Anon

    My roommate and I both had significant fraudulent charges on our cards recently (hers was used in Michigan, mine in Indonesia). Neither of us use our cards very often but had both used them at Florida Liquors on the corner of 14th & Florida NW just before they were compromised. Don’t want to point fingers because I love that store but it’s all we could come up with.


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