Police advice to avoid cash machine scams

A cash point.
A cash point.

Police have issued a warning to people using cash points after finding a device attached to an ATM.

Officers from Cleveland Police were alerted by a bank advising that a card had become stuck in a cash machine.

On inspecting the ATM, officers found it was an attempt to steal the card and that the machine had a device attached to it.

Enquiries are ongoing to trace those responsible for the attempted fraud, carried out at a bank in Redcar.

Police have issued advice to avoid people from falling victim to scammers:

• Try and use a cash machine during daylight hours, but if you can’t do this, use cash machines situated in well-lit and busy areas.

• Preferably, use a cash machine located indoors i.e. in a bank or building society branch, or one that is monitored by CCTV.

• Try to steer clear of machines that have been vandalised or mistreated.

• Check over the cash machine. Fraudsters will often place false fronts over the card slot to copy, or ‘skim’, your card information. A small camera may also have been placed above the keypad to capture you entering your PIN number. If anything looks 'stuck on’, it probably is.

• If you are suspicious that a machine may have been tampered with, avoid using that machine and report your concerns to the owner, so others won’t fall foul of the scam.

• Place your hand over the keypad to act as a shield while entering your PIN number.

• Never write down your PIN, change it to something that you can easily remember.

• Avoid entering your PIN if there are people too close to you and never reveal your PIN to anyone, not even your bank staff.

• Never accept help from or be distracted by strangers.

• If your card gets stuck, don’t leave it there, use your mobile phone to call the bank.

• Check your bank statements against withdrawal slips.

• Consider using ‘cash back’ at supermarket checkouts.

Anyone who thinks that they may have been the victim of a scam is asked to contact Cleveland Police on 101.