Home > Financial Scams > Losing it all at the ATM

Losing it all at the ATM

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 7 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Safe From Scams Scams Atm Cash Point

In a relatively short time we've come to rely heavily on ATMs, those holes in the wall that can dispense cash 24 hours a day. The days when you had to hope the bank was still open or try to cash a cheque somewhere are history - in fact, more and more places don't even accept cheques now.

But as we use cash points more, the scammers have come up with tricks and cons to take advantage of that. Some are very sophisticated, using machinery and hi-tech devices. Others, though, are quite crude and primitive, like peeking over someone's shoulder as they type in a PIN number.

One, though, is about as basic as you can get.

How It Works

You're at the cash machine. You've typed in your PIN, removed your card, and the cash is just coming out. There's someone behind you, almost always a man. As you're busy counting the money you've just received, he tapes you on the shoulder and says, "I think you dropped this," and holds up a £10 note.

Flustered, you begin to reach for it and thank him. Then, out of nowhere, another man comes and grabs your cash and debit card, and the pair of them run off before you can react.

You've lost your money and your card. The latter you can replace, but the former you can't, and the chances of them ever being caught are slight. Meanwhile, at the very least, you're shaken up emotionally, and quite possibly physically, too.

It's just like a smash and grab raid, and in most cases will only bring them a few pounds; the most you can take out of a machine in any one day is £300, anyway. Unless they work hard, they're not going to get rich from it.

How to Prevent It

Whenever you use a cash machine, you need to be alert, especially if it's dark or there are very few people around. You should always check the machine, in case any devices have been attached (to be fair, some of them are so good that you'll never know), and if possible, always use machines in well-lit places, that are attached to bank buildings.

If others are waiting behind you, shield the keyboard with your body so no one can see your PIN. Cover the keys with your free hand too, as an extra security measure.

When you're getting your cash, put it and the card straight into your purse, wallet or pocket, as soon as you've checked that you've taken it all. Making sure the amount is fine is all well and good, but if there's a problem you can't resolve it with the machine anyway! If someone tries to interrupt you, don't be distracted until the cash and card are out of sight. That will discourage robbers - they want an easy target, not to have to tussle for the money.

If You're a Victim

If you've been a victim of this, unfortunately there's not a lot you can do. You have to report it to the police, of course, since it's a robbery, and you also need to inform your bank as soon as possible that your card has been stolen, telling them when and where. They will issue a replacement, and if your card has been used illegally in the meantime, you should not be charged for it.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Sal
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    Had a call today from a Indian lady saying I overpaid my sky bill by £202 she then asked my dob then requested the expiration date of my card I asked…
    7 September 2018
  • SimplyMe
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    Just received same call purporting to be from Sky Refund Department. When I said I had something to tell him (i.e. not a Sky customer) he hung…
    23 August 2018
  • Syed Ali
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    I received a call 9.30am the lady calling from 07125656364 said she is calling from sky from billing dept and want to refund overpaid amount to sky of…
    14 August 2018
  • Maggie
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    I’ve just had a phone call from07125656364 telling me she was from sky and saying that I had overpayed £202 and they want to refund me. She then asked…
    6 August 2018
  • SafeFromScams
    Re: Vishing Scam
    Jhey - Your Question:I received an email from Royal Mail saying that my fiancé belongings are arrived to london to receive the parcel they want me to s
    24 July 2018
  • Jhey
    Re: Vishing Scam
    I received an email from Royal Mail saying that my fiancé belongings are arrived to london to receive the parcel they want me to send £2150 via western…
    23 July 2018
  • Wmy
    Re: Vishing Scam
    AEAC0155408 has been used here in Nigeria to scam my sister. Please be careful.
    16 July 2018
  • WomenHelpingWomen
    Re: Scammed by a Holiday Romance?
    Hi, I work for a women's magazine weekly and we are trying to raise awareness during the time of travel so no more women fall as…
    5 July 2018
  • Le Tissier Pearson
    Re: Vishing Scam
    Scam messages can be a nuisance and the fraudsters can go to jail.
    22 June 2018
  • eggreig
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    Just had a call from a lady could hardly understand her but she said I was due a refund but didn't believe her it was a mobile number 07158655859
    19 June 2018