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Q When is a cash machine not a cash machine?

Alert message sent 10/03/2020 09:13:00

Information sent on behalf of Durham Constabulary

A: - When it has been immobilised….


Those who thought shielding their pin was a good enough precaution to take when drawing money at a cash machine, you should think again.
Officers have been made aware of a device used in Sacriston intended to retain cash dispensed from an ATM machine. As you can see on the photos below, the plastic covers the dispensing drawer, leaving the unsuspecting victim without their cash. On this occasion we do not believe that anyone has been left out of pocket, and we would like to raise people’s awareness to be vigilant around these machines.

How to protect yourself from ATM fraud

Banking trade body UK Finance has the following advice to protect yourself from ATM fraud:

Stand close to the cash machine. Always shield the keypad with your free hand and your body to avoid anyone seeing you enter your PIN. This will protect your PIN from anyone who might be looking over your shoulder, and also help to keep your PIN safe if a fraudster has set up a hidden camera that is filming the keypad.

Be alert and put your personal safety first. If someone is crowding or watching you, cancel the transaction and go to another machine. Do not accept help from seemingly well-meaning strangers and never allow yourself to be distracted.

Don't leave the ATM if your card is sucked in. Fraudsters sometimes fit devices to cash machines that trap your card, which they then retrieve as soon as you have left the area. If your card is retained by the machine for any reason, report it to your card company immediately, ideally using your mobile phone while you are still in front of the machine.

Make sure you have your card company’s 24 hour contact number stored in your mobile phone. You should also freeze your card using your card issuer’s app if they provide this service.

Don't use dodgy machines. If you spot anything unusual about the cash machine, or there are signs of tampering, do not use it. Report it to the bank concerned immediately.

Destroy mini statements. Once you have completed a transaction put your money and card away before leaving the cash machine. Destroy or preferably shred your cash machine receipts, mini-statements or balance enquiries when you dispose of them.

Remember, if the machine swallows your card, you should contact your bank immediately, ideally while remaining beside the ATM, as it may be necessary to cancel it.

Message sent by
Brian Donnelly (Police, PCSO, West)

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