Kennebunk and Wells police are investigating after illegal “skimming” devices were found on ATMs in both towns.

According to Kennebunk Deputy Chief Mike Nugent, a device was installed early Saturday morning outside a Kennebunk Savings Bank branch on Portland Road and discovered by bank employees at about noon the same day.

The skimmer, which essentially takes a picture of the bank card’s number and identifying information, included a card reader that fit directly over the ATM’s reader. Whoever was responsible even hung a fake “Kennebunk Savings” sign with a camera hidden behind it to record customers as they entered personal identification numbers.

“It’s not something we’ve dealt with in-house, but we have seen it in other communities,” Nugent said. “I think it’s one of those things that’s becoming more common.”

The incident is still under investigation and Nugent said police do not yet know who is responsible.

“This is the only device we know of at the moment but I think other banks in the area are on the lookout,” he said.

Wells Police Detective Joseph LaBier said a similar device was found at the Kennebunk Savings location on Sanford Road in Wells on Saturday. He said Monday that the incident was still being investigated and he didn’t have any additional information.

“This is kind of outside what we normally deal with,” he said.

Heather Harris, vice president of corporate communications for Kennebunk Savings Bank, said this is the first time any of their branches have been targeted by skimming devices. She said the bank posted the incident on its Facebook page over the weekend and has contacted customers who may have been affected. According to the Facebook post, the devices were found on several ATMs in York County and Dover, New Hampshire.

“At this point, we don’t have any reason to believe anyone’s information was compromised,” Harris said.

Chris Pinkham, executive director of the Maine Bankers Association, said this type of criminal activity is “a sign of the times.”

“We haven’t seen any actual reports of this here in Maine, but it’s something we’ve seen nationwide,” he said.

Any customers who used either ATM on Saturday morning are encouraged to contact the bank.

Pinkham said ATM users should take precautions, including shielding the keypad while they enter their PIN.

“If there is something that looks at all suspicious about the ATM, they should just not use the machine,” he said. “The good thing is: Banks are going to protect them from any fraud. It’s the nuisance factor more than anything else.”

Eric Russell can be contacted at 791-6344 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: PPHEricRussell

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