Dozens of customers of the Down East Credit Union branch in Belfast have had hundreds of dollars stolen from their accounts in a hacking incident.

Belfast police Sgt. Daniel Fitzpatrick said it appears a skimmer device was installed in the ATM at the credit union’s branch on Lincolnville Avenue on Saturday.

Dozens of people reported that money was missing after they used their ATM cards on Saturday.

“It is a horror show,” said Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick said that as of Sunday morning, 25 people had reported thefts from their accounts. Some customers have had about a hundred dollars stolen, while others have seen their accounts completely drained, Fitzpatrick said.

“One person reported having $909 missing,” said Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick said the police had a difficult time contacting the credit union. The credit union told them that it would not be able to fix the problem until Monday morning.

Police have checked all the ATMs in the area and have found no other skimmer devices.

Thieves who have been using skimming devices to steal personal banking information have affected financial institutions throughout the state.

In October, the York County Sheriff’s Office warned the public that criminals using sophisticated skimming devices had been stealing personal identification numbers and card data from bank customers. The thefts took place on ATMs at banks located in Wells, Sanford and Waterboro.

In June, Kennebunk and Wells police warned the public that they were investigating incidents of illegal skimming after finding devices on ATMS in both towns.

Also last June, the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office arrested three men from Florida and New York for allegedly skimming and cloning credit card information from southern and midcoast retail businesses.

Belfast police, on the department’s Facebook page, asked those with an account at the credit union to check their accounts and report any problems to police by calling them at 338-2420. Customers of the credit union responded to the police department warning on Facebook.

“I got taken for over $800,” one woman wrote.

“New York bank drained my son’s (account) and mine,” another woman said.

“Oh great. I noticed a debit from my account for $163 that came out of New York. I am almost 100 percent sure I didn’t authorize this debt,” a third woman posted.

Belfast police are continuing to investigate.


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