Cumbria Police are advising the public to be aware, be alert and be safe when using Automated Teller Machines (ATM’s) or cash machines.
In recent months there have been a number of incidents throughout North Cumbria where bank ATM machines have been tampered with in order to steal cash and / or bank cards.
At this time of year, people are very busy organising things for Christmas and personal safety can be on the bottom of the list. Over the last few weeks Cumbria Police have encouraged people to make sure their personal belongings and property is safe and secure.
There are also helpful tips each day on Christmas countdown at www.cumbria.police.uk/12christmastips/index.htm. Cash machines can be a target for criminals, being aware and observant of your surroundings can be a deterrent to potential criminals.
Andy Hunton, Crime Prevention Officer with the police’s Community Safety Unit in North Cumbria, said, “People should not be worried to use cash machines but they do need to be aware of the ways in which their details can be obtained. This will help them take basic precautions and hopefully reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim.
“We can all become complacent when using an ATM because it is something we do most weeks. However, remember – when using cash points always check to see if it appears to be unusual or if its appearance has changed since you last used it.
“If you do see anything untoward, do not use the machine and report it to the bank and police immediately. Report any unusual transactions immediately to your bank.
“By being more vigilant and aware when using cash machines, we can make it more difficult for criminals to carry out these crimes and reduce the number of people becoming a victim.”
Be mindful of any person apparently loitering in the vicinity of ATM’s. There are several tactics used by offenders:
to observe PIN’s being typed in by the legitimate customer
to distract the customer just a cash is being dispensed
to protect any illegal device installed on an ATM.
For further help and advice visit our force website at http://www.cumbria.police.uk/advice-and-information/personal-safety/cash-machine-advice or alternatively call 101 and ask to speak to your local Crime Prevention Officer.
People can also visit www.cardwatch.org.uk for more advice and safety tips.