Police are warning people to take extra care when using cashpoint machines (ATMs) after a new scam by thieves to try and get money from people came to light.
There have been at least 25 known incidents in the past few weeks where a strip of plastics has been stuck on to the area where the cash is dispensed to make it look like it’s part of the machine.
Then when someone uses the machine they think it is faulty when no cash comes out and when they leave the thief then comes along and removes the plastic and the money. A lot of glue is usually used on the strip and the cash is usually stuck to it. This is thought to allow the thief to make a hasty get away.
One case happened at Barclays Bank in Portswood Broadway in Southampton at around 6.45pm on Saturday April 16. Luckily the customer discovered the scam when no cash came out and police now have the device used. It’s not known if anyone else fell victim to it before it was discovered.
In all it known the bank has been targeted at least 23 times since the end of March. The largest amount taken using the scam was £300.
However the branch is not the only one to fall victim, there have been other cases in Southampton, mostly taking place at Barclays ATMs or at cash machines at convenience stores, mainly the Co-op in the city. There has also been a case at an ATM at the Co-op, in Havent Road, Drayton, in Portsmouth also on April 16. Again a member of the public discovered the device and managed to get their cash back but it’s not known if others were not so lucky.
There were also two cases in Hythe on Wednesday, April 13. A total of £350 pounds was taken by the thieves using a similar device on a Barclays bank cash machine there.
Inspector Mark Lewis said:
“We would recommend people always take care when withdrawing cash from any cash machine. If no money comes out they should report it immediately to their bank and if they see any sort of device on the machines they should also report it to the police.
“It is always wise to check cash machine quickly beforehand for any obvious devices before using it.
“By design some type of cash machines are more easily targeted for this type of scam and some banks and shops have more of these installed than others however people should always look out for such scams wherever they use a cash machine.”
Anyone who has any information about anyone using such devices to get steal cash is asked to call Sgt Roger Boyles at Portswood Police Station on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.