Be smart, careful using ATMs, Raleigh police urge

rgallagher@newsobserver.comSeptember 19, 2013 

— In the wake of arresting a man Wednesday on charges of using people's ATM codes to steal money from their accounts, Raleigh police issued several pieces of advice on how users can protect themselves.

According to a series of arrest warrants, Craigory Lamonte Bass, 26, of Durham had developed a technique in which he was able to see what personal identification number (PIN) people used at an automated teller machine.

Then he rushed them away from the machine and used the code to get cash if the machine had not completely logged off the customer, police said.

People should try to keep anyone else from seeing what they type when they enter their PIN numbers at an ATM, police spokesman Jim Sughrue said, and they should make sure the machine has completely closed the transaction before leaving it.

It’s also important to be aware of others who might be around the machine and whether anything seems suspicious, police urged.

“Trust your gut feeling,” Sughrue said. “If things don’t feel right, avoid that machine.”

Other advice included not counting money while standing at the ATM and always taking your receipt with you if one printed out.

Machines sometimes take several extra seconds to print and discharge a receipt.

If caution was not enough and a robber approaches you, do not struggle, police said.

“Give the robber the money and remember what you can about his or her description,” Sughrue advised. Then call 911 as soon as possible.

Police charged that Bass was able to get between $100 and $1,000 in nine incidents between mid-May and early September.

He also was charged with robbery for an Aug. 19 incident in which they said he assaulted a man by “putting him in fear of bodily harm by the threat of violence.”

Bass was being held in lieu of $429,000 bail and was scheduled for another court appearance on Friday.

Gallagher 919-829-4572

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