Users warned over increase in ATM fraud

Cash pointA new report has warned cash machine users to be on the lookout for fraudsters as the number of scams has risen sharply.

Financial Fraud Action UK released the figures and said that desperate criminals were resorting to low-tech crimes in a bid to get their hands on cash.

Incidences of scammers trying to detect pin numbers and steal ATM cards have sharply risen, tripling in the first three months of the year alone. In 2012, just 2,553 crimes were recorded compared to 7,525 during the same period this year.

FFA UK said the increased use of technology such as chip and pin had made it more challenging for criminals to commit card fraud in other ways, so many had resorted to old-fashioned methods.

More and more scammers are resorting to tried and tested techniques such as ‘shoulder surfing,’ to try and sneak a peek at the pin number whilst then distracting or confusing the victim, allowing them to swipe the card from the ATM.

The group warned that ATM users should not let themselves be distracted whilst using the machine, even if the person seemed to be unthreatening and friendly. Techniques where the fraudster purports to provide help or to point out a problem are some of the most common tricks used.

Other methods falling back into favour include the setting up of a camera to capture the entering of secret PIN data. This is often twinned with a device which catches the card and makes it appear that it has been swallowed by the machine. This allows the fraudsters to retrieve the card once the individual has walked away.

If you find your card unexpectedly swallowed by an ATM, FFA UK recommend calling the police, whilst remaining in front of the machine.

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