Bank customers are being warned to be on their guard as a new wave of distraction thefts are being staged at cash machines up and down the country.
The scam is over in a blink of an eye, leaving customers unaware they have had their bank card swapped for a fake one and their account at the mercy of the thieves.
Barclays has released footage of one customer being scammed as he uses an ATM. It shows a young man inputting his PIN as another man uses an adjacent machine.
A woman behind the victim has clocked his code, then drops some money to distract him.
Her male accomplice reaches across, swaps the victim’s bank card for a fake one, and then continues on his way.
The victim returns his attention to the machine, pockets his cash and card and leaves – unaware he’s carrying a forged card while the woman and her accomplice armed with his card and PIN soon set about raiding his account.
Fraud at cash machines rose by a fifth to £32.7million in the last year alone, according to Financial Fraud Action UK.
A Barclays spokesperson said: “We are determined to do all it can to combat fraud. We’ve had a media campaign across all of our different channels, direct mails, in-branch posters and ATMs, so it actually just felt like a really natural step to put our weight behind a TV campaign.”
Advice from Barclays to stop the scammers:
- Don’t let anyone distract you when you’re at a cash machine
- Cover your PIN when you pay in shops or go to a cash machine
- Ignore people who speak to you when you’re at a cash machine – even if they appear to be helpful
- Don’t use a cash machine if it, or anyone around it, looks suspicious
- Call your bank straightaway if you think your card, PIN or other security details have been compromised