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Take extra care when using cash machines urge north Kent police

PUBLISHED: 14:10 30 December 2016 | UPDATED: 14:14 30 December 2016

Kent Police

Kent Police

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Metal strips known as ‘Lebanese loops’ that block card slot and trick users into thinking card has been swallowed have been found

Police are reminding people in north Kent to take extra care when using cash machines to avoid becoming victims of fraud.

Officers in Dartford received a report that two suspicious devices had been placed inside ATMs in Hythe Street on Thursday, December 29, 2016.

Such devices are commonly known as ‘Lebanese loops’, which are strips of metal or plastic that block the card slot and give a victim the impression that their card has been swallowed by the machine.

Once they have left, the fraudster can return to remove the device and steal the card within.

Sergeant Dave Crompton, of Kent Police, said: “Often the person who tampered with the ATM will appear and offer to help the person whose card has been swallowed, watching while they re-type their PIN. They are then free to help themselves to money that does not belong to them.

“It is therefore very important that people take extra care when attempting to withdraw cash by shielding the keypad and being aware of anyone acting suspiciously around them.

“Also look out for anything unusual such as unofficial ‘out of order’ notices that direct you to one particular ATM, or screens that are misaligned or blurry.”

Anyone who wishes to report suspicious cash machine activity should call 101 or Kent Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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