Be on guard after ATM card scam at Calne
Scam victim Natasha Thorn is warning cashpoint users to be on their guard after thieves stole £250 from her account.
The 31-year-old, of Baydon Grove, Calne, was playing in an evening pool match at the King’s Arms in Calne on March 4 when she decided to cross the road to withdraw £10 from the ATM at Lloyds Bank in the High Street.
At first she thought the machine had swallowed her card, but later she learned thieves had taken its details to withdraw £250 and buy petrol at Asda and Membury service station.
Ms Thorn used the machine and it then asked her to take her card, but it did not appear. Instead she heard a click and a whirling sound.
Ms Thorn said: “I panicked slightly and pressed all the buttons including the cancel button, but the card still didn’t appear.
“A countdown from 30 seconds started and I looked up and down the street, but couldn’t see anyone anywhere. The countdown hit zero and a message came up on the machine stating it was temporarily unavailable.
“I looked for a number to call Lloyds but I couldn’t see a number so I re-entered the pub.”
Fifteen minutes later, when Ms Thorn checked the machine again, there was a number to call. The operator said the incident sounded like a problem with the machine and offered compensation of £20.
She cancelled her card that night and it was only the next day, when she phoned her bank NatWest to check her balance, that she realised she had been scammed.
After speaking to Lloyds, as well as the fraud department at NatWest and the complaints department, she finally received her money back last week. She said a Lloyds spokesman told her it was not the responsibility of the bank if the machine had been tampered with.
PC Hans Monahan, from Calne Police Station, said: “This is a timely reminder that if your card is stuck in an exceptional circumstance to ring the bank as soon as possible and if you see a suspicious person loitering in the vicinity of a cash point, ring 101. We will see if roving cameras can assist us in picking out any suspects.”
A Lloyds spokesman said: “We are aware of an attack on a Lloyds TSB cash machine in High Street, Calne, where fraudsters attached a device to the machine to stop cards being returned to customers. The device has now been removed and we are speaking to the local police in relation to the incident.”