ATM Fraud

ATM Advice – How to protect your card details

There are three commonly used ways to defraud at a cash point machine or ATM these are the Lebanese loop, electronic and distraction.


ATM - 3A camera (possibly a mobile phone camera) concealed in a strip of plastic is placed above the keypad of the machine with the camera pointing at the keypad.  There is a transmitter inside this device possibly the same type as found in the plug in door bell chimes this will transmit the images of the customer entering their pin number to someone sitting in a car up to 150 yards away monitoring a laptop computer.  A ‘THROAT’ skimmer is placed over the card slot, it just looks like the card slot.


ATM - 2When a customer enters the card to activate the ATM the throat will skim the card account details from the black magnetic strip on the card.  If there is a bank of machines the customers will be channeled to this cash point by rendering the other cash points out of order either by tampering with the machines or putting up out of order signs.  They will remain at this spot for 1 – 2 hours and then remove their surveillance equipment.


ATM - 5They will then use either plain white plastic cards or telephone cards and encode them with the captured data.  Numbering each one they then have a book, which lists the numbers and the correct pin number for that card.  These will then be taken either within the next hour or in the early hours of the next morning to a cash point and each one fed in with the relevant pin number and the maximum amount of cash is taken out.  They could possibly have up to 40 cards in their possession with a possible £300.00 for each card.
£12,000.00 – not bad for a few hours work.

The Lebanese Loop (See how the scam works)

Lebanese LoopA length of tape is inserted into the card slot.  The customer inserts the card and the tape traps it.  The criminal is standing behind the customer and when the machine refuses to give up the card and the customer is pressing various buttons the criminal will suggest they enter their pin number twice as this has happened to them.  The customer does this watched by the criminal and when they don’t receive their card back walk off to report it to the bank.  The criminal removes the device and card and goes to other cash points to withdraw money.  To see how this scam works click here



You are standing at the cash point when you can feel close to you 2 or 3 men all with mobile phones.  They are all tapping in a telephone number but really they are aping your finger movements as you enter your pin number, when all are put together they will probably have your pin number.  One of them then taps you on the shoulder and tells you, you have dropped some money and on looking down see a £10.00 note.  As you bend down to pick it up the money your card is ejected from the machine, one of the others pulls it out of the slot puts it through a skimmer and returns it to the slot just in time for you standing up.  You retrieve your card and money then walk away a bit bemused, you have your card, money and £10.00 but can’t help wondering what that was all about.  They have your pin number and your card details and will be put onto dummy cards and withdraw money as above.

Prevention of ATM Fraud

Check the machine you are using, cover your hand as you enter your pin number, check no one is surfing your shoulder.  Do not advise members of the public to remove any devices as they are valuable to the criminals and they will use force to retrieve them.  If you think anything is suspicious report it to the bank or shop the cash point is outside of or to the police.