Cash Machine Scam Alert - Ellesmere Port Area

Alert message sent 14/06/2015 08:59:00

Information sent on behalf of Cheshire Constabulary

Cash Machine Scam Alert

Over the past few weeks we have received a number of reports relating to suspicious incidents at cash machines at various locations around the Ellesmere Port area.

The majority have related to issues where money has not been dispensed or the card slot has looked suspicious.  However an incident occurred this week where it is believed a group was working in partnership to distract the victim.

This scam took place in Ellesmere Port Town Centre and three offenders worked in partnership to distract the victim whilst they were at the cash machine. A female, stood to the left of the victim pretending to use another machine, watched the victim enter their PIN number. A male standing behind the victim, dropped a £20 note on the floor and attracted the attention of the victim, saying "you have dropped some money".  As the victim picked up the money the female exchanged the victims card with another stolen bank card and walked away.

The offenders where described as having foreign sounding accents. The bank card that was left at the scene with the victim had been stolen in the Ipswich area and thousands of pounds stolen from the account. On this occasion, the victim was alerted by a passing member of public, and the bank managed to stop any transactions prior to the offenders withdrawing monies.
Please  take some time to read through some simple but effective advice to consider when using cash machines.
Types of ATM Theft

The most common ATM theft is carried out using a ‘skimming’ device. This is a little machine that fits over the card slot and transmits your card details to the thief, who is often waiting nearby. They now have all they need to reproduce your card; to complete the theft, they need your PIN number. To get this they may attach a second device – a camera – to the machine; or they might simply hang around behind you while you use your card.

Another type of ATM theft involves a similar device, attached by the criminals to the ATM machine. This one is designed to suck in your card and refuse to spit it out. The thief will stand nearby and act concerned, suggesting you try the transaction again (while making a mental note of your PIN). After you’ve left to ring your bank, the thief will quickly remove the device and your card, and use it in another machine before you have the chance to cancel it.
  • Choose your machine with discretion; pick a machine in a public place with plenty of space around it. Avoid machines that are in the dark and those with people loitering nearby.
  • Use the ATM with another person present, who can keep an eye out while you make the transaction.
  • Have your card ready to use, rather than fumbling around for it at the machine.
  • Check the machine over for anything odd before you put your card in. Look carefully at the card slot and the overhang, where miniature cameras could be installed.
  • Cover the keypad while you enter your PIN.
  • If you use a machine inside a bank after hours, and you have to slide your card through a slot to open the door, make sure you don’t let anyone else in behind you.
  • If you think someone is watching your transaction, press cancel and find a different machine.
  • If the machine swallows your card, don’t leave – telephone your bank on the spot. Tell anyone queuing that the machine is faulty.
  • Put away your cash before turning away from the machine, including your receipt.
Advice provided by

Message sent by
Wendy Dalton (Cheshire, PCSO, Ellesmere Port East LPU PCSO)

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