Warning after ATMs targeted by conmen

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POLICE are warning people to be extra vigilant when withdrawing money after cloning devices were found on cash machines in Sudbury.

The first device was discovered on an ATM outside Waitrose supermarket in Station Road at around 3.15pm on Wednesday.

Three days later, officers were called to the cash machine outside the Santander bank in Old Market Place after reports of another card reader being found.

Part of the device had been found on the floor at around 10.30am on Saturday and was handed in to staff at the bank, who alerted police. An engineer was then called and the remainder of the card reader was removed from the cash point.

Inspector Paul Crick, from Sudbury Police, said banks and ATM providers had been advised to look out for similar devices.

“These are the first couple of readers we have had in Sudbury for a long while,” said Mr Crick.

“A device was found on the outskirts of Babergh a few weeks ago and you do tend to get these in spates. We have warned banks to increase levels of security and are monitoring the situation.”

Card reading – often known as skimming or cloning – sees conmen install a magnetic card reader over a cash machine’s card slot. A wireless surveillance camera or false keypad is used to capture a user’s PIN number.

This information is then copied on to another card which fraudsters use in an attempt to make a cash withdrawal.

Police say they are not aware of any victims in the two cases, but officers are urging people to be on their guard.

“It is always a good idea to check an ATM thoroughly before using it, as it may not be immediately apparent that a device is attached or that there is anything suspicious that suggests the machine has been tampered with,” said a spokesman for Suffolk Police.

“If there is anything suspicious about the machine then customers should either alert the branch immediately or contact the police.”

He added that it was also sensible to cover the keypad with your hand when entering your PIN, and to check bank accounts regularly to prevent falling victim to ATM fraud.

q Anyone who believes a cash machine has been tampered with should call Suffolk Police on 101.

ON THE LOOK OUT: Inspector Paul Crick said officers would continue to monitor banks in the area after two cloning devices were found.