Abbotsford police are warning people to be vigilant after a bank customer discovered a hidden pinhole camera and secret card skimmer on an Automated Bank Machine, the third such incident this year.

The customer noticed a piece of rectangular gray plastic above the PIN pad while using the ATM at a financial institution on Sumas Way on Monday.

The plastic was painted to blend in, but the customer pulled it off quite easily and alerted police.

A patrol officer found a small hole in the mount with a pinhole camera inside while examining the machine. The member also uncovered a card skimmer on top of the bank card entry slot – also disguised.

Const. Ian MacDonald said the camera was being powered by a small cell phone battery.

The camera and skimmer are now being forensically examined. It is hoped surveillance footage from inside the machine will provide investigator with pictures of the suspects.

Police have been alerted to two similar incidents in Abbotsford in the last calendar year, however, this is the first located in a financial institution.

The first skimming machine was found at a restaurant/bar and the second at an Abbotsford trade show complex. Both were at independent ATM machines.

Police released video surveillance from the restaurant's machine last October but were not able to locate the suspects.

MacDonald said this latest device is similar in purpose only, and is more sophisticated than the ones they've seen in the past.

"In the last two the fabrication wasn't given the same degree of care," he said.

"If you weren't alert as this customer was you could just think this is one of those pin protectors."

Investigators believe this latest skim is an isolated incident in Abbotsford but may be linked to recent debit frauds as far away as the North Shore.

Yesterday, West Vancouver police arrested a 29-year-old Ontario man for setting up a skim site at an ATM inside a bank on Marine Drive. An alert employee alerted police after seeing the suspect trying to attach the device.

Major crimes investigators are planning to liaise with West Vancouver Police to determine if the suspects are the same.

MacDonald said he wouldn't be surprised.

"Normally these are organized crime or theft syndicates so I wouldn't be shocked if these were the same people."