Credit card cloners strike again

By Dave GooderhamA DRAMATIC increase in hi-tech “cashpoint crimes” has led to police renewing urgent calls for bank machine users to remain vigilant.

By Dave Gooderham

A DRAMATIC increase in hi-tech “cashpoint crimes” has led to police renewing urgent calls for bank machine users to remain vigilant.

More than 20 cases of credit or debit card “skimming” have been reported in the past two months, prompting police to outline the potential dangers of using bank machines.

In the latest incident, a 29-year-old man from the Chippenham area had a “substantial” amount of money stolen from his account after using a cashpoint at Tesco in Fordham Road, Newmarket.

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It follows a spate of card cloning throughout the county in April when more than eight people were targeted in Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket and Martlesham.

Mike Nunn, a Suffolk police spokesman said: “We would like to warn members of the public to be cautious when using cash machines.

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“To reduce the chance of becoming a victim of cashpoint crime, examine the machine closely before you use it to check for pinhole cameras or to see if there is anything stuck to it, or in the card slot.

“If there is anything at all that does not look right, do not use the machine and report it immediately to the bank or to the police.”

The incident in Tesco took place at about 6pm on June 22 when police believe the man's card was cloned as he used the machine.

Police said they were still unsure how exactly the card had been copied, but warned fraudsters often attach something to the machine before it is used, enabling them to clone the card and view the person's personal identification number through a tiny camera.

Mr Nunn said: “Make sure that no-one watches you when you enter your PIN into the machine, shield the keypad with your free hand to block the line of vision and under no circumstances allow yourself to be distracted and your attention diverted away from your card while performing a transaction.

“If the machine does not return your card to you, report this immediately to your bank.”

Anyone with information about the latest incident in Newmarket should contact Detective Constable Dan Connick, of Suffolk police, on 01284 774100 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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