Card theft devices found on two cash machines in Midsomer Norton
Two 'skimmers' designed to steal bank cards have been removed from cash points in Midsomer Norton.
Police are warning people to be aware of cash machine fraud following the discovery of the devices at two separate cash points in the town.
Sergeant Geoff Cannon from Radstock Police Station said: "We have two cash points in Midsomer Norton that have been affected over the past week. In each case the criminals have inserted a device known as a 'Lebanese loop' into the ATM card slot which is designed to capture a victim's card and PIN number. The device is later removed by the offenders. They are then able to use the captured card and details later to withdraw cash."
The Lebanese loop involves fraudsters inserting devices which consist of a strip or sleeve of metal or plastic into the bank machines card slot.
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When the ATM tries to eject the card a 'lip' at the end of the loop prevents the card from being ejected and the machine draws the card back in, leaving the victim to believe that their card has been retained.
Sergeant Cannon said it is then common for the scammer to appear and offer to help, watching the victim as they re-type their PIN. The victim then walks away assuming their card has been retained - leaving the fraudsters free to recover it and, using the PIN they have just memorised, withdraw as much money as the card will allow.
Those who fear they may have been a victim of the fraud to contact their bank immediately to report the problem.
Sergeant Cannon said people need to check cash machines before they use them, ensuring there is nothing unusual before they insert their card.
Anyone who is suspicious that a skimmer device may be in place should contact police immediately.