PNC Bank ATMs hacked into


A Pittsburgh couple discovered $1,400 missing after their PNC Bank account was hacked into.

The woman, who did not want to be identified, told Channel 4 Action News that her husband noticed the money missing from a checking account after a trip to the PNC location in Forest Hills.

"I reconcile my bank statements religiously, so I noticed it right away," the woman told Channel 4 Action News' Tara Edwards.

"They took out a maximum that our MAC card allows each time. Every time they saw there was still money there, they kept hitting us," the woman told Channel 4 Action News reporter Tara Edwards.

The couple went to the branch and was told that the ATM had been compromised when a card reader was installed on the machine.

She said her husband used the machine last week, but those who accessed the account from New York waited until the weekend to take out $1,400 in three withdrawals.

"They took out a maximum that our MAC card allows each time. Every time they saw there was still money there, they kept hitting us," the woman said.

The woman said she completed a fraud complaint with the bank and was expected to get the money back in a few days.

On Thursday, fellow PNC Bank customer Kathryn Petrie told Channel 4 Action News' Marcie Cipriani that she found herself in a similar situation.

"It was very disturbing that they could break into my business account and wipe out the entire account," said Petrie.

Petrie said the ATM she used in Fox Chapel was not the one she usually makes withdrawals from.

"It was my entire account -- around $1,000. Plus all the fees they withdrew and overdraft fee," said Petrie.

PNC Bank did refund her the money in a few days.

Former FBI agent and current Carnegie Mellon University security manager Bill Shore advised all bank customers to be observant when using an ATM.

"Make sure the slot where you slide your card looks like it's a part of the machine. If someone puts a skimmer on there, it may not be fixed properly. It may be loose," said Shore.

Shore further advised customers to the light that most bank machines have where ATM cards are placed. Shore said most skimming devices placed on machines to record information won't have that light.

"There are two parts to collecting the information about the card. On a debit card, you have to associate a pin number with it so when you slide your card into the card reader that would collect the info off of the magnetic stripe, which includes your account number, your name and maybe some other info but your pin number will be captured by a tiny little camera concealed somewhere in the ATM," said Shore.

PNC said a few other customers had been victimized as well.

PNC issued the following statement:

PNC employees and vendors regularly and frequently review the security of each PNC ATM. Between these reviews, customers should follow some basic guidelines to reduce the chances of becoming the victims of fraud at the ATM:

  • Observe the ATM for signs of tampering, which may include scratches, sticky film, or other materials that indicate someone may have altered the surface of the ATM by placing skimming devices or other apparatus used to obtain PINs.
  • Pick PIN numbers you can easily remember that are not birthday dates, house or phone numbers, or repetitions of a single number.
  • Never write your PIN number down on a slip of paper that you keep in your purse or wallet.
  • Check your card statements for unfamiliar transactions.
  • Retain any receipts you get from a card transaction and reconcile them with your monthly bank account statements.
  • Never throw ATM receipts in the trash. If you do, shred them.
  • Be sure to get your card back when you use it at the ATM.
  • Never give your credit or debit card account number or PINs to anyone you don't know over the computer or the phone.
  • Shield the keypad when entering your PIN.
  • ATM Hacked Into At Forest Hills PNC Bank

    Copyright 2010 by ThePittsburghChannel. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.