BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Officials with Whitney Bank say additional ATM security has been initiated in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida after a regional ATM scheme has caused the bank to reissue approximately 7,100 debit cards.
On Saturday, Whitney Bank detected unauthorized activity at several Whitney Bank ATMs between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. This scheme apparently relates to a broader scheme affecting financial institutions along the I-10 corridor.
Officials with Whitney Bank say "this is not a breach of the Whitney Bank system. This scheme appears to involve criminals attaching a plastic mold and metal plate to ATM card receptors to capture card numbers and personal identification numbers (PINs). This type of ATM fraud is designed to access debit card numbers and cash and does not compromise customer bank account information."
A news release states the bank immediately contacted law enforcement agencies, examined all of the bank's ATMs, and removed any illegal attachments discovered.
The bank assumes responsibility and will not allow customers to incur any losses because of this fraud incident. The bank is directly notifying customers affected by this unauthorized activity. Meanwhile, the bank regrets any temporary inconveniences customers may experience because of a criminal attempt to gather customers' debit card numbers and PINs at ATMs.
The bank is working closely with the appropriate investigative and law enforcement agencies and carefully monitoring ATMs and customer ATM transactions in Louisiana for attempted fraud.
The bank encourages customers to examine carefully any ATM or cash machine at any location before conducting a PIN transaction and to change passwords and PINs regularly.
Bank customers noticing any unusual attachments to an ATM slot and/or surface should contact the Whitney Bank Contact Center at 800-844-4450.
There is a multi-agency manhunt under way to find out who is responsible for this scheme.