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Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Distraction theft reported at South Harrow cash machine

In a concerning incident reported by the local police, a distraction theft occurred outside Lloyds Bank on Northolt Road, South Harrow.

The incident involved two individuals described as black males in their 30s, one of them sporting a trimmed beard and standing at a height of approximately 6 feet.

The suspects employed a common tactic, initiating a conversation with unsuspecting victims by claiming the ATM was malfunctioning. However, their true intention was to steal the victims’ cards by extracting them from the card reader.

PCSO Lisa Saunders, the dedicated ward officer, noted the importance of scanning the area surrounding ATMs before usage.

“It’s a good idea to be cautious and vigilant when using ATMs,” she said.

“Always check the machine for any signs of tampering and be aware of anyone standing nearby.”

Distinctive signs of ATM fraud can include suspicious devices attached to the machine, although some may be more inconspicuous than others. If anything seems amiss, it is crucial to contact both the police and the bank immediately.

Distraction theft reported at South Harrow cash machine Harrow Online

Saunders urged the public to trust their instincts and avoid using ATMs that appear tampered with or evoke a sense of unease.

If possible, she recommended going inside the bank premises for a safer transaction. Regularly monitoring one’s transactions and remaining alert are key practices to minimise the risk of falling victim to fraudsters.

The officer stressed the significance of being mindful of one’s surroundings, particularly when using ATMs. “Thieves will closely observe as you enter your PIN or attempt to distract you while withdrawing cash,” warned Saunders.

To counter such tactics, she advised being vigilant, covering the PIN entry, and keeping a watchful eye on the card at all times. If approached or tapped on the shoulder by strangers, it is essential to ignore them and maintain focus on the transaction at hand.

After completing an ATM transaction, it is advised to promptly put the card away in a secure place. Furthermore, individuals should exercise caution even with contactless cards, as accidental reading of card details can occur. Using a card holder is recommended to prevent unintended data transmission.

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