Commuters Targeted By Ticket Machine Con

Police issue warning after recent rise in bank card skimming devices

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Police are warning commuters to be on their guard after a rise in card skimming devices attached to tube station ticket machines. The device copies credit card details as passengers buy tickets and sends the numbers abroad where they are used to make fake cards.

"We are urging Tube users to stay on their guard to help prevent themselves from being scammed," said a Police spokesperson. "We have seen an increase in the use of these devices in recent weeks."

The scam involves the use of an electronic machine which captures card numbers. These numbers can then be reproduced on blank cards which can be used abroad with no chip and Pin protection.

"People should not be alarmed but this is a warning that commuters should take precautions to prevent themselves being scammed. We also want to reassure people that any innocent victim of this scam will get their money back from their bank or card company."

The British Transport Police and Transport for London are offering cardholders the following advice:

  • if someone close to the ticket machine is behaving suspiciously, use a different one
  • if there is something unusual about the machine and you suspect that a skimming device has been attached to it, do not use it and alert a member of staff at the train station or the police
  • use your free hand to shield the keypad when you enter your PIN
  • if someone starts crowding or watching you, cancel the transaction immediately and use another machine

March 23, 2011