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Police warning over cash point scam

A number of incidents of cards being stolen at cash points and used to fraudulently withdraw cash have been reported to police.

Cash machine

The thieves have been using ‘Lebanese Loops’ to trap cards inside cash machines, then retrieve the card to withdraw money. In some cases, stolen cards have been used to fraudulently withdraw money and later make further attempts to steal more funds.

How does the Lebanese Loop scam work?

Typically, the perpetrators obtain the victim’s PIN by either watching them enter it the first time, or by approaching them under the pretence of trying to help, suggesting they re-enter their PIN while they watch. Once the victim leaves the cash machine, thinking that the machine has malfunctioned and retained their card, the perpetrator removes the loop and trapped card, and uses it to withdraw money from the victim’s account.

Watch out for cash point scams

Police officers are urging people to be vigilant when using cash machines and to tell police immediately if they see anything unusual or anyone acting suspiciously around cash machines. If possible, they should not leave the scene if their card is retained but call for help and inform their bank to prevent cash from being stolen.

This scam has recently been reported in Surrey. As scammers move and change the geographical areas they operate in, all UK residents should also be vigilant about this type of scam.

If you have lost money to any type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud.

Read more about the Lebanese Loop cash machine scam on Surrey Police’s website.

Please note: Action Fraud is not responsible for the content on external websites.

To report a fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.

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