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16 June 2011, 12:45
Police are asking people to be careful at cash points after people reported having hundreds of pounds taken from their accounts.
The warning comes after a number of residents in Kesgrave, near Ipswich, examined their bank statements and discovered money having been withdrawn without their knowledge, especially from locations in Kent - more than a hundred miles away.
Kesgrave's Safer Neighbourhood Team Sergeant Peter Street wants people to think security when withdrawing money, paying attention to the advice on the machines.
"Everyone has to be aware and alert when withdrawing money from ATMs,” said Sgt Street. “Try and make sure that the number is kept private and be swift to remove both the card and money when they are returned to you."
Suffolk Police is working with counterparts in Kent as well as bank fraud investigation teams as they look to identify the thieves. Officers have examined cashpoints on Penzance Road and Grange Farm where the majority of people have used their cards to withdraw money and then later found further money missing from their account.
Sgt Street added: "There are criminals out there who have got this scam down to a fine art. When you are using an ATM there is a tendency to focus purely on the machine as you carry out your transaction, but you should also be aware of your surroundings. If anybody is standing so close to you that they can see your hands, then don't enter your pin number. Trust your instincts and, if you feel uncomfortable, discontinue the transaction and walk away.
Always cover your hand when you enter your pin number as this helps to prevent a camera or prying eyes obtaining those details. If someone tries to gain your attention in any way as you are carrying out a transaction, ignore them."
If you have any suspicions that a device has been fitted to an ATM, then follow the advice on the on the machine to report the incident or contact Suffolk Police on 01473 613500.