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I have just heard about a new cashpoint theft scandal.
A friend of a friend used a cashpoint in Slough this week. When he inserted his card, it was retained by the machine. It was after banking hours so he was unable to report the fault.
Then a man approached him and asked if the machine had swallowed the card as it had just happened to him as well. The man then advised that when it had happened to him before, the bank simply returned the card by post with an explanation - so it probably wasn't anything to worry about.
Not wanting to give up straight away, this friend of a friend returned to the machine to check that there was no way of retrieving the card. He fiddled with the slot and could just see his card inside. Then, and this is the crunch - the card slot came away in his hand - revealing the real machine slot just behind.
He turned to tell the first man - and saw him running off.
It seems there is a new scam whereby a false front is fitted to cashpoints to catch customers after hours. There is a sticky film inside the false front that holds onto the card until the card criminals can come to collect it.
This could be a rare stunt but my advice to you anyway is to carry your bank's emergency phone line on you at all times (programme it into your mobile if possible). If your card is swallowed, wiggle the slot to see if it appears false (without damaging the machine!), but be aware that someone may be watching and they won't be best pleased if caught out - so never put yourself in danger. It is better to cancel the card immediately than be sprung.
And don't forget - it could be the bank retaining the card after all!
P.S Sorry about the category selection but it was the nearest I could get to what I wanted to write about. Hopefully you'll forgive me due to the nature of the warning!
Thanks for the tip. I have now finished reading your page 2 of reviews....LL
sue.51 19.10.2001 23:13
Not exactly about insurance - but good warning for people, particularly when travelling to areas they don't know - something similar was actually run on an episode of the Bill a couple of years ago.