The terrifying cash machine scam that you need to know about

Watch out for this...

Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde

New scams are created every day – from this bizarre new phone scam, to online dating scams – but the latest con involving cash machines is so easy to miss that it’s imperative you’re aware of it.

If you regularly use ATMs, you’re probably vigilant when it comes to covering your pin number, looking out for ‘skimmers’ that swipe your card details, and maybe even running your hand across the top of the machine to check if a false front has been fitted.

But the latest scam is so small and difficult to spot that you really need to look very closely.

It involves tiny cameras, no bigger than a pinhead, that are pointed towards the screen or the number pad. These are inserted into tiny holes on the cash machine, and they’re so subtle that to the untrained eye they can just look like tiny inconspicious cracks, or slight machine damage.

However, police are warning cash machine users to look for these small holes as at least four ATMs in central London have been found housing the minuscule cameras.

PC Matt Clarke from City of London Police said: ‘The vast majority of cash points in London are perfectly safe – but criminals have been known to tamper with them.

‘Take care and stay vigilant when using cash machines.

‘If you spot anything unusual or if there are signs of tampering, don’t use it.’

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