Veteran subway riders know: Keep your valuables covered and watch out for train-hopping purse-snatchers. But now they have to keep an eye out for another level of crime from spy-like cameras.
The Metro Transit Authority said it uncovered a camera made to look like a power outlet and a credit card skimming machine at a busy Manhattan subway station.
Crimes like robberies and assaults dipped down to 6 percent in 2013 on New York subways; a small recovery from a 20 percent jump in 2012. But MTA official say they are now on the lookout for more machines like this at the hundreds of other stations in the subway system.
“We have already dispatched personnel to check all [Metrocard Vending Machines] system-wide today for other devices,” MTA New York City Transit President Carmen Biancos said. “As was the case yesterday, we continue to ask our customers ‘If You See Something, Say Something,’ particularly if they notice any suspicious activity or device in our system.”
The clever thieves targeted the card vending machines inside the 59 St-Columbus Circle station at the Southwest corner of Central Park.
The credit card skimming device was discovered Wednesday night around 9:30 p.m. attached to an MVM located on the north end of the southbound platform at Columbus Circle.
This isn’t the first time a skimming device was discovered on the transit lines; Long Island Railroad officials found dozens of seemingly inconspicuous cameras and skimmers on ticket vending machines in November.
Metro authorities recommend purchasing tickets online if you are a city dweller who regularly travels on the trains, but if you are visiting the Big Apple as tourist soon, be sure to scope out the machines you use for randomly placed wires, strange-looking plastic pieces protruding from the machine, and take a glance up at the ceiling for bizarrely placed cameras before swiping your card.
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