Thieves target Harrogate cash machines again

ATM stock from Morguefile
ATM stock from Morguefile

Fraudsters have targeted Harrogate cash machines for the third time in as many months.

Police are warning bank customers to be vigilant after ‘cash trapping’ devices were found on cash machines in town.

A trap was found on the ATM at the Leeds Road branch of the Cooperative store in Harrogate on Wednesday October 29.

Earlier in the month customers found card skimming devices on two ATMs; the NatWest cash machine on Leeds Road and the Post Office cash machine on Starbeck High Street and in August thieves raided customers’ accounts after they used a Leeds Road cash machine which had been tampered with.

The ‘cash trapping’ device found this week fits to the slot where money comes out of the ATM and prevents cash being dispensed or pulled back in by the 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 remain in the trapping device until suspects come along and take the money.

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. 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.

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.