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ATMs at 8 GTA hospitals targeted by crooks: police

Toronto police showed off some sophisticated technology used to steal bank card information from ATMs at eight GTA hospitals.

“It’s a lowly offence at the best of times, but at a hospital?” Det. Ian Nichol said at police headquarters on Tuesday.

Investigators found skimming devices at two Toronto hospitals – SickKids and Scarborough General – on April 11. Police said ATMs at eight GTA heath care centres were compromised. Officers first became aware of the problem in December and put out a warning Tuesday.

“Presumably, these aren’t the only ones and there are more out there,” Nichol said.

Hospitals are targeted because they’re busy places with heavy foot traffic, and the machines are often in open areas. The skimming devices are left in place for about two hours and then collected.

“The devices seized recently … contained a card reader device as well as a pinhole camera,” Nichol said.

“The camera captures your PIN as you enter it.”

The Toronto Police financial crimes unit told CityNews no victims have come forward yet, but investigators are urging people who believe they may have fallen victim to fraudsters to contact authorities.

The best protection, police said, is to use your hand to shield your PIN as you enter it.

The eight hospitals are Scarborough General, North York General Hospital, Oakville-Trafalgar Memorial Hospital, Lakeridge Health Bowmanville, Southlake Health Centre (Newmarket), Toronto East General Hospital, Toronto Western Hospital, and the Hospital for Sick Children.