Tayside police is urging members public to be vigilant after skimming devices were discovered on cash machines at two Angus-based Co-Ops yesterday (Monday, June 2).
A man alerted staff at the Co-Op petrol station in Forfar’s Academy Street after he had problems using their ‘hole-in-the-wall’ shortly after midday. Closer inspection revealed that a skimming device had been fitted to the ATM.
Police officers want to trace two men who were seen acting suspiciously at the cash machine minutes before and after the illicit device was pointed out.
A Tayside Division spokesperson said: “A stocky, bald man with a flat dark cap, dark blue jeans was seen at the device just a few minutes before the man attempted to use the card. Then, as the concerned member of the public spoke with staff, another man was seen to approach the ATM before leaving. On checking, staff found the device was gone.
“The second man was of Eastern European appearance and had dark brown hair. He wore light blue denim jeans and a light green jacket
“Police Scotland also wants to trace a sporty-looking silver car that was seen in the forecourt of the station at around this time. A similar vehicle – possibly a Kia Venga – was seen a short time later in Friockheim, where a skimming device was recovered from the Co-Op’s ATM in Gardyne Street.
“A woman raised concerns after failing to get cash from the machine at about 1pm. A device was discovered and is in the hands of the police.
“Enquiry officers want to trace a man who was seen acting suspiciously at the machine at about 12.50 p.m. He was slim and wore a long-sleeved black top, light blue jeans and a green or grey baseball cap.
“The man was seen getting into a small silver car, which was driven away. A man with a white collar was also seen acting suspiciously at this vehicle that was parked across the road from the ATM at around the time of the incident.
“While it appears the devices were only fitted for a very short time to the ATMs, enquiries are underway to establish whether it was possible for any illegal transactions to have been made on personal accounts.
“Everyone who uses a cash machine needs to be alert to this particular type of scam and should report anything suspicious to the police, as well as the bank or store where the ATM is situated.
“Skimming devices are designed to read cash and credit card details without the knowledge of the cardholder.
“Such equipment is designed to appear genuine to the untrained or unsuspecting eye. However, people must pay close attention and look to see if there is anything stuck into or onto the machine.
“If anything looks out of place, they should not enter their card or PIN number but should immediately inform the authorities.”
The police advise that memebrs of the public stick to the following routine: Check the card reader and the front fascia for anything that appears to be out of the ordinary before inserting your card; check for any unusual attachments to the ATM, such as a leaflet holder; cover the PIN key pad as you enter your number by obscuring it with your free hand; check your account balance regularly; inform your bank immediately if your account shows any transactions you did not make; contact the police and service provider immediately should you discover a device attached to an ATM.
Anyone with any information that can assist Police Scotland should contact Tayside Division on 101, or speak to any officer.