The Irish Payments Services Organisation has issued a warning to ATM users against a new type of distraction scam, reports of which are becoming more and more prevalent across the country.
Targeting in particular, vulnerable groups such as the elderly, the scheme involves the criminals placing a device on the ATM which holds the user’s card, and observes them applying their pin.
When the ATM user becomes frustrated at their card being trapped, the scammer is on hand to help. Having placed the device in the machine, the thief know exactly how to retrieve the card safely. Returned to the customer however is a ‘dummy’ card.
According to the Irish Payments Services Organisation (IPSO) the victim does not realise the card given to them is not theirs until they attempt to use it again. “This allows the criminal time to use the genuine card for some time before the loss has been realised by the bona fide card-holder and reported to their bank.”
It has been reported that the scam has so far resulted in €30,000 in theft in the last week alone.
While there have been no such incidents reported in Cavan so far this year, there has been 26 successful skimming incidents nationwide, 197 successful incidents of so-called ‘Cash Trapping’ and 19 incidents of ‘Card Trapping’.
The lull follows however a spate of such thefts in the local area in recent years.
Last year a ticket vending machine was skimmed in Cavan, while in 2011 there were a total of six incidents occurred in Cavan, four of which involved the skimming of cards, all of which were at the same location but on different dates.
Two cash trapping incidents occurred at a different ATM.
IPSO has taken to warning people to take extra caution when using public ATM’s, and to immediately report any activity considered suspect in or around cash-points.
“Customers should cover the PIN pad when using an ATM and should report to their bank any unusual activity such as the capture of their card in an ATM”, a spokesperson for the IPSO said in a statement.
“Anyone who believes they may have been affected by this scam to talk immediately to their card issuing bank which will check their account for any unauthorised cash withdrawals or activity.”