NEWTON, N.C. -- Police are warning bank customers to check their accounts after a sophisticated debit card skimmer was found on an ATM Sunday afternoon in Newton.
Investigators believed the skimmer, which included a device to clone a debit card number and a camera to record a customer's PIN, was placed around 8:30 a.m. that day at the First Citizens Bank off College Avenue and East A Street.
Police Chief Donald Brown II said a bank customer found the skimmer later in the day.
"They realized that something didn't seem to be quite right with it," Chief Brown said. "It's a pretty sophisticated operation, it appears."
Chief Brown said the skimmer copying debit card numbers was hidden behind a green shell that looks exactly like the one customers use to insert their cards. Police said the camera was placed in a plastic shell surrounding the cash withdrawal slot and pointed towards the keypad.
Newton resident Melissa White said her parents bank at the branch where the skimmer was located.
"If it can happen that small of a bank in this small of an area, then it can happen anywhere," White said.
Police released surveillance photos of the woman they believe placed the devices. They asked anyone who knows the suspect to contact investigators.
First Citizens Bank told NBC Charlotte its employees inspect ATMs multiple times a day. Customers should inspect them as well by pulling on the parts of the ATM to see if anything is loose and using the Bluetooth feature on a phone as skimmers often are run by Bluetooth.