Don't get distracted
...when using your card and PIN at a cash machine. Criminals use distraction techniques at ATMs to steal your card and/or cash
Distraction theft at cash dispensers
Criminals use distraction techniques at ATMs to steal your card and/or cash. They may tap you on the shoulder to get your attention or act as a “helpful stranger”.
For example they may tell you that you have dropped some money, and while your attention is elsewhere, another member of the criminal team steals your card and/or cash. Once the criminal has your card and has viewed you entering your PIN, they will carry out fraudulent card transactions.
...or in a shop
Criminals have also been known to target victims after watching them enter their card PIN in a shop; while one criminal asks for directions or change, another steals their card.
How can I keep safe from distraction theft?
- Don’t let anyone distract you during your transaction at a cash machine or in a shop, even if they seem to be a “helpful stranger”
- Be aware of others around you when using a cash machine. Avoid using a cash machine if you see suspicious individuals nearby
- Remember to always shield your PIN at a cash machine or while paying by card
- When you’ve finished a transaction, take your cash quickly and discreetly put your card away before leaving the cash machine
- Do not use an ATM if there are signs of tampering or suspicious devices are visible.