POLICE are warning people to check cash machines before using them after a spate of card skimming at ATM’s across Bexhill.
Criminals add devices to cash machines which can read the customer’s card details from the magnetic strip on the back of a bank card and then put onto the reverse of a blank card and used to steal money from the victim’s account.
Also known as card cloning, the tactic is becoming increasingly popular among sneaky crooks who, in some cases, have also been known to fix cameras to pick up customers’ pin numbers – or have someone looking over a shoulder of someone using the machine to note it down before later stealing the card.
And mindful of the skimming technique particularly, Bexhill Police this week issued some advice to locals to make sure they do not fall foul of the theft.
Mark Evans said: “We have had recent incidents in Bexhill where a skimming device has been fitted to cash machines.
“The first thing you should do when you approach a cash machine is check the card slot to check that there is nothing unusual about its appearance.
“These skimmers are usually attached over the slot where you enter your card and spray painted to match so it can be hard to spot them.
Check for any scratches, sticky residue, tape or other signs of tamper as well as any part of the machine that looks like it is newer, or made from a different material than the rest.
“Missing LED lights above the card slot machine are also a giveaway if the ATM you’re using usually displays them.”
He also revealed that an ATM machine in Devonshire Road had its card reader ripped out back on February 27.
A police spokesman said: “If you suspect a cash machine has been tampered with in any way, report it to the bank immediately.”