ATM Skimming Scam Spotted On Chiswick High Road

Member of the public noticed false front on NatWest machine


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An eagle-eyed member of public spotted that a skimming device had been fitted to a cash machine outside NatWest Bank on Chiswick High Road. The scam, known as the 'Lebanese Loop' involves fitting a false cover over the card slot.

Police said the man noticed the device when the machine would not return his card. Police were called to the scene and removed the device.

CCTV shows suspects tampering with the machine but the angle and quality of the footage meant it was not good enough for circulation. The device recovered has been submitted for forensic analysis.

The 'Lebanese Loop' is a common scam where which a false cover is fitted over the card slot with a camera looking down onto the keypad.

The fraudsters insert a device which consists of a strip/sleeve of metal or plastic into the bank machine's card slot.

When the ATM tries to eject the card, a 'lip' at the end of the loop prevents the card from being ejected, and the machine draws the card back in, leaving the victim to believe that their card has been retained.

The police have warned the public to take care when using cash points.

"Be aware of people standing too close to you and cover the keypad when entering your pin. Have a quick look over the machine to see if there is anything unusual. If you think there may be a device call police on 101 and wait there. Avoid touching any suspicious objects as this will help to preserve forensic evidence", they say.

According to the latest Neighbourhood Watch Briefing, the fortnightly update of crime figures on the Turnham Green Ward, crime was up by a quarter on the previous reporting period, mostly non-residential burglaries.

In one incident, a shared office building was targeted by thieves who broke into 21 separate office cubicles. Each of these counts as a separate burglary which makes the recorded number of burglaries higher than would be expected.

The ward covers the Chiswick High Road area which includes shops and businesses.

Turnham Green Crime Figures - 14/04/14 to 27/04/14
There have been 67 crimes recorded in the fortnight, a 24% increase on the 54 crimes in the last reporting period.

Burglary - There have been 0 residential and 23 non residential burglaries reported this fortnight. This sounds alarming but is the result of crime recording rules. A shared office building was targeted by thieves who broke into 21 separate office cubicles. Each of these counts as a separate burglary!

Theft from motor vehicles - 7 theft from motor vehicle offences have been reported this fortnight.

Pickpocket/Theft from person offences - There has been 1 theft from person offence reported this fortnight.

Follow Hounslow Police on Twitter: @MPSHounslow

April 28, 2014