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Lake Forest bank discovers ATM fraud

Updated: February 7, 2013 6:42PM

Lake Forest police are working with Northern Trust Bank on an ATM fraud case involving multiple customers.

A skimming device likely was attached to the lobby ATM at the bank’s branch at 265 East Deerpath in Lake Forest to record account numbers and personal identification numbers, or PINs, of customers who used the ATM from December 2012.

Skimmed account numbers and PINs were used to make unauthorized withdrawals “at numerous Chicago-area ATMs,” according to a press release issued by Lake Forest police Thursday morning.

The exact number of customers affected and the potential dollar loss involved is undetermined at this time.

“Although there were hundreds of cards processed through that ATM in the time frame, the skimming device may not have been attached the entire time. Only a percentage of card numbers have been fraudulently used so far,” Lake Forest Deputy Police Chief Karl Walldorf said.

Bank officials discovered a common thread — a transaction at a Lake Forest ATM — in several fraud complaints by customers and notified police.

“We are assuming, because of the link to the Lake Forest ATM, a skimmer was used, and we think this is a safe assumption when multiple numbers are stolen, re-encoded and used in close geographic proximity,” Walldorf said.

Information on the suspects involved in the fraud is not available.

“Northern Trust security is combing through hours of video attempting to locate any sign of the device being planted on the ATM itself,” Walldorf said. “Because of the broad time frame, this will take a while.”

Lake Forest police are taking reports from Lake Forest residents who have evidence of fraud in their account records. Potential victims should contact police Detective Kevin Zelk at to make a police report.

Northern Trust Bank also is checking every account used through the ATM and notifying their customer even if they haven’t discovered fraud on their accounts, Walldorf said.

Victims are not limited to Northern Trust customers, however.

“Any card can be used through the ATM. We are currently looking for fraud reports we took before Northern Trust contacted us to make sure we include them in this case,” Walldorf said.

More information on skimming fraud is available at the U.S. Secret Service website:

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