High-tech cashpoint fraud attempt in High Street

Latest Lebanese Loop scam foiled by alert user and shoddy workmanship

A sharp-eyed member of the public avoided becoming the victim of a high-tech crime at the Barclays Bank cashpoint in Brentford High Street.

Whilst using the cash dispenser outside the branch the user noticed a small device attached to the top of the slot into which the card is inserted. When touched, the device fell off, revealing a tiny camera and attached transmitter. This would have been able to transmit details of numbers entered on the cash machine's keypad to someone with a receiver in sight of the cashpoint.

It is not known if any previous users of the machine had their card details read by this device, which was discovered on Thursday 12th August. Anyone with any suspicious withdrawals should contact their bank.


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Local police have been aware of similar attempts at defrauding cashpoint users being carried out locally in recent weeks. Such scams go under the generic title of Lebanese Loop. They can be crude devices to simply retain a card whilst the user thinks the machine has broken or they can be more sophisticated, such as the Barclays example. The details gained can be used to 'clone' cards or enable muggers to know how much cash a potential victim is carrying.

All users of cashpoints are advised to

  • look out for attached devices or unusual additions to the cashpoint
  • be aware of who is around them - if someone is standing too close, don't use the cashpoint
  • report any suspicious circumstances immediately

More information on ATM from Brentford police available here.

17 Aug 2004

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