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Bank Confirms Skimmer Discovery

Bank representatives and police have officially acknowledged that multiple skimming devices were found at TD Bank’s Plainview branch during a routine repair last month — and the acknowledgment has customers livid.

According to investigators and bank officials, on March 9 an ATM repairman was doing routine repairs in the branch at 500 Old Country Rd., when he discovered a skimming device on the ATM in the bank’s vestibule. A second skimming device was found on the card reader at the vestibule’s entrance, police said.

As reported in the April 2 edition of the Plainview-Old Bethpage Herald, multiple Plainview customers suffered the consequences of that breach and had thousands of dollars stolen from their accounts. And while the bank and detectives are urging customers to check their accounts for losses, victims of the breach believe that TD Bank’s security was not adequate — nor was its response.

Joe Nappi, who had $1,900 stolen from his account, said it is infuriating that TD Bank noticed the breach because of a routine repair and not as part of what he believes is a desperately needed daily security inspection.

“I’m furious and disappointed. It’s unsettling,” said Nappi. “It’s not like the bank doesn’t know about skimming devices. There’s reports every day of skimming devices found, and they don’t check the machine every day? TD told me customer account security is their utmost priority. Clearly it’s not.”

Nappi also said that despite the bank’s claims, he never received any notification in the days following the breach. It was not until his account was compromised on March 12 that he realized something was wrong. That story was repeated by three unrelated bank customers, all members of the Plainview Fire Department: their accounts were compromised, but they did not find out through a notice from the bank. Rather, they noticed when their accounts were drained.

“You don’t ‘work on’ contacting customers in this situation,” said Nappi. “You just do it.”

TD Bank officials said the bank has improved its ATM technology to help thwart skimming thieves, and that they are cooperating with detectives during this investigation. The bank advised customers to “cover the keypad when entering their PIN at any ATM location to prevent it from being viewed; carefully review bank statements and credit reports for unauthorized activity; and immediately report any suspicious activity to TD Bank at 888-751-900, local law enforcement and to the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-382-4357.”

But for many local TD Bank customers, the damage has already been done.

“Whatever happened, I feel that they were totally unprepared to deal with this, [so] I’ll be looking for banking alternatives,” Nappi said, adding that he is worried the bank is not up to the task of guarding against criminal hacking. “They are one step behind. By the time they figure out the ATM problem, thieves will find a new way to steal money.”

News

Plainview resident Gail Wurtzel will be leading her team, Memories of Miriam, in the Walk to Defeat ALS at Eisenhower Park later this month.

 

Wurtzel’s Mother, Miriam Hanania, also a Plainview resident, succumbed to the disease two years ago after a long struggle. The disease forced her to go from an active, vibrant person to being wheelchair-bound and dependent on others for her care. 

 

ALS or Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

While everyone is subject to the trials and tribulations that life offers on a day-to-day basis, some people can use just a little bit of extra help. Luckily, there’s help with a proven track record out there for those who need it. 

 

Joe Russo of Old Bethpage heads up the Recovery International meetings held weekly at the Plainview-Old Bethpage Public Library. These meetings extol the virtues of the self-help techniques developed by the late Dr. Abraham Low, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry as the University of Illinois Medical School.  


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