Police have issued crime prevention advice following a spate of suspicious incidents at cash machines in the Hampshire area.
Over the last week, police have received reports of a device placed on cash machines, customers then report that the machine has kept their cards. It is currently unclear whether any money has been taken from their accounts.
An investigation is underway.
The device is seen on the machines could potentially be a card skimmer. This is a portable capture device which is attached in front of or on top of the legitimate scanner at an ATM.
The skimmer records the card data as you insert the card into the real scanner and can then be used to make purchases or take money from your account.
Around 100,000 people a year fall victim to fraud related to skimmed or cloned debit and credit cards with more than £47 million a year taken by theives using cloned card details.
What are the warning signs?
A bulky card slot suggests a skimmer device may be in place. The devices are placed on top of the genuine reader and are often very difficult to spot, however, the scamming device may not appear flush against the card machine, leaving a gap where the reader doesn’t touch the pin pad.
A loose or blocked card slot may indicate a ‘Lebanese Loop’ – A ‘Lebanese Loop’ is a strip of metal or plastic which traps a bank card in the card slot, allowing thieves to return and retrieve jammed cards when the customer walks away.
A loose or spongey pin pad – if the pin pad feels loose or thicker than normal, it may well be fake. Some fake pin pads allow thieves to register your PIN with sophisticated devices which can instantly transfer the digits to the thief via WiFi.
Police have issued this advice to remind people of steps they can take to protect themselves when using cash machines.
• never write down or share your Personal Identification Number (PIN)
• cover the keypad with your hand when you type in your PIN number
• if you think the machine has been tampered with, don’t use it and tell the bank or store
• call your card issuer immediately if a cash machine takes your card
• put your card and cash away securely before leaving
• be wary of anyone trying to distract you