Unless you have very good eyesight, you probably didn’t spot the tiny camera hidden in the cash machine above.
I always used to freak out about other people seeing me tap in my pin number. But it turns out we’ve got something new to worry about (hooray), as fraudsters are now installing ATMs with tiny cameras in order to steal personal information.
They’re so tiny that it would be near on impossible to spot it in real life. Police have published a series of pictures after the device was discovered inside a cashpoint at St Paul’s Churchyard in central London last month. A similar camera was also found inside a cashpoint in the area on March 7th as well as two others in the city.
Because it’s not just an isolated incident, police are now issuing a warning to the UK public to be vigilant when getting cash out, particularly in busy cities. PC Matt Clarke, from the City of London Police Crime Squad, said:
Take care and stay vigilant when using cash machines in the City of London, and London as a whole.
If you spot anything unusual about a cash machine, or if there are signs of tampering, don’t use it. If in doubt, try and use a machine inside a branch.
Here’s how they work:
An unusually bulky card insert slot might suggest a ‘skimmer’ which can take your card details as you make a withdrawal.
A loose or blocked card slot suggests a ‘Lebanese loop’ which can trap your card in the machine. The ATM continually asking for a pin is a telltale sign.
A loose, thick or sponge-like pin pad may be fake and is used to capture your pin.
It’s worrying that technology makes it so easy for thieves to install devices and extract personal information these days. I guess just be careful, particularly when you live in the big city. You never know who’s watching you.
One thing’s for sure – don’t do what this guy did and accidentally deposit your coke stash into an ATM. And if you do end up doing that, don’t destroy the cash machine after.