An ATM scam in the Woodlawn and Yonkers area has stolen money from hundreds of Irish people.
Thieves skimmed several ATM machines in the Woodlawn/Yonkers area by using a device that steals ATM card and pin information.
Marion Leahy first noticed her account was missing $1,000 on Saturday, April 17.
A call to the Bank of America customer helpline told her she used her card in the Plaza Hotel in Hollywood a few days earlier.
“I’m in New York,” she quickly informed the teller.
“But your actual card was used,” they said.
She repeated her whereabouts and assured them she had her ATM card in her possession.
It was only when Moriarty, originally from Co. Cork, posted her bad luck on Facebook that she realized she wasn’t alone.
Within a few hours at least five of her friends also reported money stolen from their Bank of America accounts.
On Monday and Tuesday there were queues out the door at the Katonah Avenue branch of Bank of America.
Marie Flavin Brouder, a Kerry native living in the U.S, was duped out of $730.
She had heard of friends being scammed and decided to check her own account. She soon discovered she was also a victim.
“I was a little shocked that it actually did happen to me. I was hearing all the stories going around and was getting text messages and said I better go and check my account online and boom, there it was! Gone,” Flavin Brouder told the Irish Voice on Monday.
Money was removed from her account in Manhattan and in Brooklyn.
After discovering the missing money she immediately called Bank of America and cancelled her card.
“They said they will reimburse the amounts and that I wasn't responsible for the money withdrawn,” she said.
The reimbursement will take a few days.
Although usually satisfied with the service of Bank of America, Flavin Brouder said if more evidence of this kind of fraud in the future surfaces she might consider changing banks.
A Co. Roscommon man, who asked not to be identified, was none too pleased with the “inconvenience” of having money “stolen from me “ on Tuesday morning.
Although he didn’t divulge how much money was actually taken from his account he said it was “a lot more than $1,000.”
Money was removed from his account in Manhattan and Queens over several transactions during the weekend.
“It makes me mad that this can happen and now I have to take a few hours out of a very busy day to deal with it,” he told the Irish Voice while queuing at the bank on Tuesday.
“I know we will get the money back. It’s just not a nice thing to happen.”
ATM skimming is estimated to be a $1 billion per year enterprise for thieves. It’s the number one type of fraud for ATMs.
Thieves place a device over the card slot of the ATM that records a person’s card number as soon as it’s swiped through the machine.
A tiny hidden camera detects the personal identification number (PIN). Once the information has been recorded, the thieves use machines that are available for sale online, and transfer the data onto a new credit card.
Media relations officer with the Bank of America in New York T.J. Crawford told the Irish Voice on Tuesday that although he cannot discuss the incidents involving the ATM skimming, he did assure customers will be reimbursed if “fraudulent activity occurred on their account.”
He warned customers to report the incident “in a timely manner.”
“It’s necessary for customers to report the incident within 60 days after they receive a statement from the bank,” he said.
Crawford said police are currently investigating the ATM skimming in the Bronx, but he could not divulge anything more.
Where does the term “the luck of the Irish” come from?