Belfast Telegraph

Fraudsters in cash machine scam

Cash machine users have been warned about criminals emptying bank accounts through a new scam.

In the latest ruse, fraudsters are attaching devices to ATMs which trap the user's card.

Standing behind the customer, the criminal then pretends the same thing has happened to them before and offers to help retrieve the card from the machine.

But instead they hand the customer a substitute card, warned Una Dillon, of the Irish Payment Services Organisation (Ipso).

"Because the customer has money on them, they are probably not going to use their card again for a while," she said.

"In the meantime, the criminal takes the genuine card out of the ATM, they've seen the customer key in their PIN code when they were withdrawing cash, and then they go and use ATMs to withdraw cash from that customer's account."

Ms Dillon said at least six incidents, involving withdrawals of up to 30,000 euro, have been confirmed over the last couple of days, but it is believed the true figure is much higher.

The criminals have been targeting older customers in particular, mostly in Dublin, but it is feared they will move out to other parts of the country.

In some cases, they are using bank branch kiosks to transfer money to foreign accounts.

Ms Dillon said customers should always make sure to cover their PIN code when using a bank machine, remain alert as to who is around them and be careful about being distracted.

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