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New cash machine scam where crooks can drain your account in minutes

Beware the new cash machine scam where crooks can steal your card details and drain your account in MINUTES

  • New type of theft where bank cards are swallowed by ATM’s and then duplicated 
  • A spate of victims in Hertfordshire have reported this happening to them 
  • One victim saw 2 withdrawals worth £350 being made at another ATM nearby

Police have warned ATM users across Britain to be wary after uncovering a new type of theft where bank cards are swallowed by the machines and then duplicated by crooks for use.

A spate of victims in Hertfordshire have reported that their cards had been retained by ATMs. They later found fraudsters had withdrawn cash from their account using a different machine, sometimes within minutes.

One victim said an ATM in Hitchin gobbled up her card before a message appeared on the screen saying that it was unavailable.

Card sharks: Victims of a new cash machine scam report their cards being retained by ATMs before  discovering crooks had withdrawn cash from their account using a different machine 

She was still standing at the ATM while on the phone to her bank when she saw two withdrawals worth a total of £350 had been made at another machine nearby. There was a further attempt at another location, but the card had been blocked.

Police in Hertfordshire have recorded three other similar cases since January, which appear to be linked.

A card used at a St Albans cashpoint was retained and its details were later used in other ATMs.

When a card was placed in an ATM in Hertford, the screen asked for a six-digit security code. The victim entered the PIN. On checking their account immediately after, they found three transactions had been carried out from another ATM.

And a card retained at a machine in Hoddesdon was used a staggering eight times at another ATM.

A force spokesman said: ‘It would appear the fraudsters are able to create duplicate cards which are used in other ATMs or in branch to withdraw cash.’

Detective Sergeant Mark Fava, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Serious Fraud and Cyber Unit, says: ‘It appears that these thefts are being achieved by a discreet device being placed over the card slot of the machine, which scans the card details, transmits the data to the criminal and then blocks the card from being returned.

‘The best way to avoid this happening to you is to cancel or suspend your bank card if it is retained by an ATM. If you have a banking app on your phone you may be able to freeze your card temporarily until you can establish what has happened. Alternatively, you may need to call your bank to cancel or suspend the card until it has been recovered.’

If your card is retained by an ATM, call your bank and ask for it to be frozen immediately or cancelled. You may also be able to do this via your bank’s smartphone app.

It may be safer to use machines located inside bank branches as there is more security.

And before you slot in your card, make sure you check to see if anything has been added or stuck over the number pad.

Graham Mott, director of strategy at cash machine network Link, says: ‘We can’t discuss fraud techniques but banks have systems in place to monitor suspicious transactions.’