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Cheshire police warn of cash machine scam
CHESHIRE Police are urging people to be on guard when using ATMs after a series of cash point scams across the county.
Fraudsters are targeting cash machines positioned outside post offices, convenience stores and other outlets across Cheshire.
Operation Astoria has been put in place by the Economic Crime Unit (ECU) to concentrate on crime related to ATMs within the area.
A number of tactics used by fraudsters have been identified, with card skimming, card entrapment and cash trapping all used to target unsuspecting users.
Despite dropping considerably over the last five years, card fraud still accounts for £21m in the north west, making it the second worst region in the UK for the crime.
“There have been an increasing number of attacks on ATMs across Cheshire, where the fraudsters are using all three methods to obtain money from innocent victims,” said DC Tony Condon, from the ECU.
“ATM users do not know they are victims until they realise their account balance has reduced more than normal.
“Our intelligence suggests that organised crime groups are responsible for the attacks and are of Eastern European origin which has in turn led to more overseas spend on fraudulent use of UK cards and stolen identity.
“We are asking all members of the public to be vigilant when using a cash machine and to be aware of any suspicious activity around cash points, which may be an attempt to deploy a device.”
If you would like to report any suspicious activity, contact Cheshire Police in 101.
Know what to look out for when using cash machines.
Card skimming: This involves the use of the video recording element of mobile phones to capture the pin number of innocent ATM users. These adapted phones are usually hidden above the pin number area. A false mouth piece will also be attached to read and copy the details on the magnetic strip of the card.
Card entrapment: Like card skimming, an adapted mobile phone will be used to record the pin number but instead of recording the card details, a device will be used to trap the victim’s card once it has been placed into the machine.
Cash trapping: A device is placed over the area where the money is released, trapping the money and making the victim believe there is a fault with the machine. The fraudster will be able to collect the device and any money trapped by it.