Neighbourhood Watch Update
Cash machine warning after “cash trapping” device found in Harrogate.
Harrogate police are warning bank customers to beware of “cash trapping” devices which have been found on cash machines in the town. The warning comes after a trap was found on the ATM at the Leeds Road branch of the Cooperative store in Harrogate on Wednesday 29 October 2014.
A cash trap is a device which is fitted to the slot where money comes out of the machine. It is a curved piece of plastic which prevents the cash from being dispensed but also prevents it from being pulled back in by the cash machine. The machine will appear to operate as normal and the customer’s bank card will be returned. The cash will be dispensed by the machine but will not come out of the slot. Under normal circumstances, if cash was dispensed but not picked up by the customer, the machine would pull the money back in after a short period of time. However, with a cash trap the money remains in the slot attached to sticky pads on the trapping device. The suspects then come along and take the money stuck to the trap.
Officers are urging customers to be vigilant and have offered the following advice to customers when using cash machines:
Always check machines before inserting your card.
Check over the cash machine. Many ATM fraudsters use tactics such as placing false fronts over the card slot to copy, or skim, your details. They may also have positioned a small camera inside the hole in the wall or above the keypad to capture you entering your PIN. If anything looks “stuck on”, it probably is. Check the area where cash should be dispensed to confirm there is a visible slot or clearly a sliding plate to allow the machine to dispense cash.
If you have suspicions that a machine may have been tampered with, avoid using the machine and report your concerns to the machine’s owner immediately. Doing so will reduce the likelihood of other people falling foul of potential fraudsters.
Always place your hand over the keypad to act as a shield while inputting your PIN.
Avoid inputting your PIN if there are people too close to you and never reveal your PIN to anyone, not even bank staff.
Never write down your PIN as a note in your wallet or handbag. Doing so will provide thieves with your cards and PIN in one fell swoop, meaning they can access your account straight away. Fraudsters essentially require access to your PIN to obtain cash from an ATM with your card, so always make sure you protect it.