Lincolnshire Police are warning people to be on their guard when using cash machines in the county after recent instances of criminals using ‘cash traps’ to steal money from card holders.
A number of cash traps are said to have been found on the two ATMs at Barclays Bank in Boston on two occasions in the past two weeks.
Cash trap devices have also been found at Barclays Bank in Lincoln.
Chief inspector Simon Skelton said: “We would ask residents to remain vigilant when using cash machines. If you see anything unusual about the cash machine or it looks like it has been tampered with, don’t use it and report it to the bank as soon as possible.
“If an ATM swallows your cash card for any reason, report it to your card company straight away, ideally using your mobile while you’re still in front of the machine.
“If you notice anything suspicious or anyone acting suspiciously please call us on 101, or call 999 in an emergency.”
They have issued the following advice to ATM users.
When using a cash machine:
* Scan the whole ATM area before you approach it. Avoid using the ATM if there are suspicious-looking individuals around.
* Check to see if anything looks unusual or suspicious about the ATM showing it might have been tampered with.
* If it appears to have any attachments to the card slot, cash slot or key pad, do not use it and if possible alert nearby staff or call the police.
* Stand close to the ATM and shield the keypad with your hand when keying in your PIN.
* If your card gets jammed or retained by the machine or no cash comes out, report this immediately to your bank or building society.
* Check that others in the queue keep a good distance from you.
* Keep your PIN secret. Never reveal your PIN to anyone, not to someone claiming to be from your bank, the police and especially not to a “helpful” stranger.
* Be especially cautious if strangers try to distract you or offer to help at an ATM, even if your card is stuck or you are experiencing difficulty with the transaction.
* Regularly check your account balance and keep your receipt to check against your statement.