The camera lens is so tiny, it’s virtually impossible to spot, even less in the hustle and bustle of New York’s subway.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is warning New York commuters to keep an eye out for hidden cameras installed in or around MetroCard vending machines that can steal their credit card data.
The tiny cameras record video as customers put their cards into the machine and enter their PIN or ZIP code.
A hidden camera along with a skimming device were found and removed by a customer earlier this week in a vending machine at the 59 Street-Columbus Circle station. He turned over the devices to authorities. The hidden camera was wired to shoot images through a pinhole inside a plug adapter mounted above the machine.
The camera’s lens was very hard to spot, jammed into a plug adapter and attached to the top of the machine. (See image above).
Here’s the plug adapter from above:
The skimming device is easier to spot:
Skimmers steal information from the magnetic strip on credit and debit cards. Then, the tiny cameras record pin numbers as people punch them in.
New York City Transit urged anyone who purchased a MetroCard at that location — at the busy 59th Street-Columbus Circle stop in the heart of Midtown — using a credit or debit card to check immediately with their bank or credit card company for any unauthorized activity.
The MTA also said it has already dispatched staff to check MetroCard vending machines throughout the system for other devices.
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