An elderly man was nearly the victim of a distraction theft in Pinner police have revealed.
A distraction theft usually involves taking the potential victim’s attention away from what they are doing, sometimes by asking for directions or something as simple as a loud noise can result in the distraction.
Once the thieves have your attention elsewhere, they can use slight of hand to pickpocket, most of the time without the person knowing until it’s too late.
Pinner SNT tweeted: “An elderly man was the target of a failed distraction theft at an ATM in #Pinner.
“It’s advisable to scan the area around ATMs before using them.
“Don’t be distracted by anyone close to you or offering assistance.
“It’s a good idea to scan the area around ATMs before you use them. Be aware of anyone standing close by and always check the machine to see if it’s been tampered with before you use it.”
Police advice for distraction thefts and ATM fraud is as follows:
Tell-tale signs of ATM fraud
Things to look out for are devices attached to the machine – some are more obvious than others. If you do see something suspicious contact the police and the bank.
Remember, if it doesn’t look or feel right then steer clear and, if possible, go inside the bank where it will be safer. And always keep a regular check on your transactions.
We know it’s not always easy, but try to be aware of anyone near you when you’re at an ATM. Being aware of your surroundings and not being distracted makes it harder for people to take advantage and less likely that they’ll try to.
Thieves will watch as you key in your PIN or distract you while you’re withdrawing cash. Be vigilant. Cover your PIN and keep an eye on your card at all times. If someone taps you on the shoulder or tries to speak to you, just ignore them.
When you’ve left the ATM, put your card away immediately.
You should also be careful with contactless cards. You can get a card holder to prevent your card details being inadvertently read.
Source: Met Police