London, UK (BBN) – To the untrained eye, this looks just like any of the millions of cash machines people use every day to access their money.
But a tiny, pinhead-sized hole in the plastic casing hides a chilling secret which shows just how advanced identity fraudsters have now become, reports the Daily Mail.
Police investigating cashpoint tampering discovered the hole meant a tiny camera, which was hidden inside a false cover to the cash dispensing slot, could record the victim putting in their pin number.
A photo of the panel after it was torn from the machine shows the camera and recording equipment that was carefully hidden inside.
The device was uncovered at a cashpoint in St Paul’s Churchyard, central London last month, one of a series of similar discoveries in the area in recent weeks.
On March 7, a similar camera was found in another cash machine in the area.
This time, the recording hole was placed in a piece of plastic above the keypad.
When the fake plastic panel was pulled away, mini recording devices were found inside so that customers’ pin numbers could be recorded.
Police are now publishing the photos to show the public just how subtle and well-disguised such devices have become.
On March 2 and March 8, police seized other device believed to have been attached to cash machines in the City by fraudsters.
It is just the latest development in cash machine fraud which is leading police to warn people to be on the look out for any signs the machine had been tampered with.
PC Matt Clarke, from the City of London Police Crime Squad, said: “Take care and stay vigilant when using cash machines in the City of London, and London as a whole.
‘If you spot anything unusual about a cash machine, or if there are signs of tampering, don’t use it.
If in doubt, try and use a machine inside a branch.”
The problem is not only confined to London.
Just 10 days ago, Lancashire police warned those in Preston, Leyland and Bamber Bridge that so-called ‘skimming devices’ had been found on machines in the towns.
Those machines prevented cards from being ejected, while similar cameras to those found in London recorded the users’ pin.
Following those discoveries, police advised: ‘Before using the machine, check if there are any loose parts on or around it – the card slot, keypad and anything above the keypad area.
‘If in doubt, please contact bank staff and consider using a different machine.