WINTER PARK, Fla. – Two people were caught trying to steal debit card information from a bank’s ATM, Winter Park police said.

Nomar Sanchez and Dayanaris Melendez were arrested Sunday on charges of placing a skimming device at a SunTrust on New York Avenue.

    Police said they got a call from someone at the bank, who reported that a woman as seen removing a skimming device from the ATM.

Melendez was caught on surveillance video removing the device, which captures card information, as well as a camera that records a customer putting in a PIN, police said.

Officers stopped Melendez, who they said was driving a car matching the description that the caller gave.

Officers said they found the skimming device in the car and that Melendez was seen wearing in surveillance video.

She appeared to be wearing the same gray sweatshirt in her police mug shot.

Sanchez was in the vehicle when officers pulled over Melendez.  

Cocaine was found in the suspects’ car, police said.

During Melendez’s first court appearance, her public defender asked the judge to lower her bond from $1,000.

Sanchez was also arrested on a charge of scheme to defraud, even though he told police that he didn’t get out of the car and go to the ATM, Police said he claimed that he and Melendez were there to withdraw money from her account.

Winter Park police said they have not identified any victims as a result of the skimmer.

Investigators said Sanchez and Melendez are also suspects in similar crimes in Seminole County.

You know there’s nothing like finding out that you’ve been ROBBED.  So even though I’ve blogged on this before here are some tips to avoid being a victim of skimmers. 

ALWAYS inspect the ATM MACHINES at gas stations. Especially if they are outside near the pumps. Those are the easiest to place skimmers on. 

Always shake or toggle each machine before inserting your card. Most skimming devices are delicately placed on for quick removal and easy installation.  They don’t want to take too much time placing them because they’ll be identified. 

Thursday and Friday are very popular days for installing Skimmers. They are at the latest placed on Saturday morning and removed early Sunday or Monday morning. Most pay days are on Friday or Thursday and people tend to be careless during shopping over the weekend. They rarely check their balances and tend to swipe quite often.  

Although making sure that you have text or email alerts is a good way to notify you of illegal transactions,  it won’t stop the crime from being committed. And with most banks there’s a week or two before they can settle your account. 

Usually when your cards information is stolen,  your funds will be gone within 24 hours.  The thieves waste no time in cleaning out your account. The bank will dispute you in many cases IF some of the fraudulent charges are made at stores you frequent. You may not be able to recover fully.  The hardest part that a bank has to deal with is the fact that a PIN was used for the transaction. Skimmers use a seperate camera to capture your information.  So beware of this at the ATM.  YOUR card number is taken and your pin is recorded and a new card with your name is created.  That number will no longer be yours to use and you’ll have to set up a new account and update information with retailers.  It’s a hassle. Not to mention you are without your money. 

Men are the #1 target for this crime. Men rarely read their bank statements. And they are very careless with their accounts. They won’t realize it until their purchase is declined. 

Avoid using a debit card through a drive through window. The card completely leaves your sight and you have no idea what the employee is doing. ONLY use your card where you can verify the transaction. Fast food employees have been known to have personal skimmers on the job and the company wasn’t aware. 

A way to avoid this.  Use Pre-paid gift cards. Use cards that you can pay a minimal fee for use that isn’t tied to your major income. Use CASH.  Yeah it’s dirty but it’s safer.