SAN FRANCISCO – ATMs offer great convenience, but they’re also longtime targets for thieves. Some use skimmers to steal your account number or stand by to rob customers. Now there’s a new kind of ATM scam – and a warning to watch out for when you use the tap feature on your debit card.

The tap feature uses radio waves to access your account – no need to insert a card. But some Chase Bank customers say thieves used the faucet feature plus regular glue to steal their money.

Pamela Bongiorno tells 7 On Your Side with our sister station ABC7 News how she got scammed at this ATM. “So I used the ATM on the right side,” she said. “My partner was here, the guy was next to me. I inserted the card, it didn’t work.”

The person in line then gave advice.

“Oh, if your card has a chip, you can click on it,” Bangiorno said.

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So Bongiorno tapped her card. This time it worked. She received the money, thanked the man and left.

“And then the next morning I look at my bank account…” she said.

To her shock, Bongiorno saw three more withdrawals from her account – $940 gone.

“I said to my partner, ‘This guy cheated on me last night,'” she said.

The same thing happened to Rob Bell at the same ATM. When the card reader didn’t work, a man leaned over.

“I didn’t think anything of it, I just thought he was using an ATM,” Bell said. ‚ÄúThere was a problem with the slot function. You must use the faucet feature.”

So Bell tapped his card, took the money and left. He later discovered the two accounts had been merged – $560 gone.

Justin Sindelar tapped the ATM with his Apple Watch and withdrew $40.

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He later found five more withdrawals in a row – $960 gone.

“Wait, I definitely didn’t withdraw that much money,” he said. “I think someone walked up to the ATM right after I used it…”

The victims complained to the head of the bank.

“I reported it to the police, it’s happening on Mission Street,” Bongiorno said.

The manager told Bongiorno how the scam works – it starts with glue.

“She told me they put glue in the ATM card reader. So you can’t, you can’t use your card,” she said.

So customers tap their card instead – and that’s the trick. If you click, the account remains open for additional transactions unless the customer logs out.

Some customers don’t know this.

But scammers do.

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They wait for the victim to leave, then approach and continue to withdraw money from their account.

All three victims filed fraud reports with Chase Bank. All three were denied. The bank said customers authorized these withdrawals.

“And that’s definitely not true,” Sindelar said.

“I said, ‘That’s ridiculous,'” Bangiorno said. “Why would I have to do four separate transactions in a row? Right?”

“They have to have a picture of who actually did it,” Bell said.

The victims said Chase would not review the surveillance video because the amounts were less than $5,000.

So Bongiorno sued again.

And again, and again. Chase finally replaced the money.

And after our inquiries, the bank also refunded Sindelar and Bell.

Chase told 7 On Your Side, “When using an ATM, be vigilant about protecting your PIN and making sure you’re signed out of your account.”

“I will never use that little faucet feature again,” Bongiorno said.

Chase didn’t say why the multiple withdrawals didn’t trigger a fraud alert or why the bank didn’t review the surveillance video — but each transaction requires a PIN — which the thieves apparently captured. So always cover your keyboard and log off before you leave.

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