Braintree police seek high-tech identity thief

Braintree police are searching for a high-tech identity thief, after a customer discovered a fake ATM card reader and hidden camera at a local Citizen’s Bank.

Police responded Saturday to a call from the bank, located at 865 Washington St., where a man reported that while trying to remove his card from the card reader that allows access to the ATM vestibule, he had pulled off an entire fake scanner which had been placed on top of the real one, Braintree Police Chief Russell Jenkins said.

The reader stored users’ credit card numbers. Police suspect it was used in conjunction with a small camera found hidden inside the vestibule, which captured users’ PIN numbers and stored the information on a memory card, Jenkins said.

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Jenkins said he did not believe anyone’s identities had been compromised. He wouldn’t explain why, saying the matter was still under investigation.

“I don’t believe myself that anyone was affected by the scam,” he said. Jenkins added that the bank is replacing the credit cards of any members who used the ATM.

Similar attempts at identity theft are not uncommon around the country, Jenkins said. He said he vaguely recalled a similar incident in the area many years ago.

If and when the person or persons responsible for the crime are caught, they will face a large number of very serious identity theft and other charges, Jenkins said.