Banks have alerted customers to a new scam that involves using a hidden box in an ATM.
When a customer withdraws money from their account, the ATM appears not to have withdrawn the money – when in fact, the money falls into the slot out of sight.
The real slot for deposits and withdrawals was concealed by a plastic cover on the ATM, making it easy for criminals to get in.
As soon as the customer leaves, the money is free to be collected by the criminal who only has to open the cover and collect the money from the ATM.
All the while, the customer is unaware that he has been the victim of fraud.
The trick was first reported on social media, after a TikTok user filmed himself using a suspicious hole in the wall.
In the video, the customer wonders why his money was not distributed.
He then discovers a sign above the ATM that indicates that the deposits are currently out of service.
The customer is made to assume that the safe is the same one that the money is dispensed from – which is currently down.
However, he then discovered a plastic cover on a separate part of the cash dispenser.
He is seen peeling off the plastic cover where his money is.
In the filmed clip, the customer used a Nationwide Building Society cash machine, but other banks that include safes are likely to be affected.
The construction company said customers of The Mirror should always check for suspicious activity before withdrawing money in public.
A spokesperson said: “The type of incident highlighted in the video, while rare, can happen at ATMs anywhere and anytime. Nationwide has implemented a series of measures in an attempt to combat these types of scams.
“However, as the video also shows, it is important that people remain vigilant and look for any suspicious devices when using ATMs, especially those located outdoors. “
Several other lenders have issued warnings to clients.
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Santander said customers should check for suspicious activity before entering their card number or PIN.
“Using a dispenser is simple, convenient and almost always safe. But sometimes criminals tamper with ATMs to steal your card information, PIN or money, ”a spokesperson said.
“Always be vigilant when using an ATM – watch out for any signs that it might have been tampered with or damaged, but also be aware of covering your PIN and the ‘shoulder surfers’ lying around. “
Barclays issued a similar warning, adding that misspellings, as in the warning sign above the ATM in the clip, should be treated as a red flag.
“Our message is that if you see something unusual or suspicious at an ATM, don’t use it – report it immediately to the police or the nearest agency,” a statement said.
Industry body UK Finance has stated that if your money does not come out, you should immediately contact the ATM provider or the lender.
Ideally, this should be at the box office.
“ATMs are generally very safe to use, with millions of transactions every day, but it’s always important to take a few simple steps when withdrawing money,” a statement read.
“If you notice anything suspicious or unusual about an ATM, such as signs of tampering, do not use it and, if possible, alert nearby staff or call the police.
“If no cash is coming out or your card is blocked, report it immediately to your bank or mortgage company, ideally by calling them while you are still at the ATM.
If in doubt, use an ATM located inside a well-known retailer, bank or building society, or over-the-counter service instead.
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