Warning after three card skimmers reported on Thanet cash machines

Card skimmer warning

Kent Police has issued a warning after three reports of skimming devices on isle cash machines in the past week.

The device is placed over the money tray so when a person inserts their PIN number and requests the cash, the money is then ‘trapped’ behind the fake frontage.  There is usually a person nearby, who waits for the person to leave, then  removes the frontage, takes the cash, and replaces the device for the next unsuspecting customer.

On the three occasions in Thanet, the member of the public has been vigilant and removed the frontage, then informed the bank and police.

What is “Skimming”?

Skimming involves the use of a card reading device and a tiny camera.  A card reading device or ‘skimmer’ is fitted over the top of the ATM’s card slot.  The unsuspecting victim puts their card into the card slot where it’s read by both the card reader and the ATM.  The transaction takes place quite normally, but the PIN input is recorded by a disguised miniature camera located above the keypad.  The victim takes their cash and returned card and leaves without realising what has happened.

How to Check for a Skimmer

Although skimmers can be hard to spot, it’s possible to identify a skimming device.

Before using an ATM, check for alignment issues between the card reader and the panel underneath it. Skimmers are often placed on top of the actual card reader making it stick out at an odd angle or cover arrows in a panel. Compare the card reader to other ATM’s and look for any differences.

A physical inspection of a card reader and keypad can often reveal fraudulent devices. Feel around the reader and try to wiggle it to see if it can easily come out of place.

Authentic card readers are robustly manufactured, meaning if any part of the card reader can easily move around, then it’s probably been installed illegally by a thief. If the buttons on an ATM’s keypad are too hard to push, don’t use that ATM and try another one.

How to Avoid Card Skimmers

Stay vigilant when using a credit card and when withdrawing cash at an ATM. If any part of a card reader looks suspicious, pay for your items inside with the cashier, and let them know there may be a skimmer installed at the ATM. Try to only use official bank ATM’s instead of nonbank ATM’s that are often found inside/outside convenience stores. Cover fingers with the other hand while entering a pin to block potential cameras.


    • Why? Those machines are probably comes safe as any, now the skin has been rumbled.
      The OP gives the best advice: use a machine inside a shop or bank.

    • Yes as there obviously concealed machines they feel they can use,and more often than not they will return

    • I completely agree with you, it would just be good to know which ones was affected so we know if we have used these machine’s during the time they was being scammed. I’m not one for scanning my statement, in fact I never look too ashamed but that’s another story

  1. I had this about 2 years ago, This was the cash point on Bush Avenue Ramsgate.
    I don’t know how it was worked . Put my card in pin etc £250 , it came up error , so I tried again £250 again error so I gave up.
    I didn’t think anything of it as next day it worked fine.
    When I got my statement a couple of Months later it showed I had withdrawn £500 on the (cannot remember dates) and another £500 the next.
    It was a post office account so contacted them. said they would investigate.
    After several letters informing them of what had happened , I only withdrew £500 and not £1,000 they would not have it the machine was right, so I lost £500 and I closed my account with them.

    • Since the post office has just been found guilty of wrongly accusing postmasters of stealing millions due to faulty IT you may have a chance to get this money back by reminding them of this in a complaint.

      • Thank you I will have to try to find my account number , but I ripped up all the letters and and cut my card in bits , i was mad at losing £500 but there seemed nothing I could do.
        They based in Ireland now and the ones I spoke over the phone to were useless.
        They did send me another letter saying I can complain to the aducatior but pointless i thought.
        Like I said the machine said error so thought nothing of it until i got my statement , there may have been someone standing around the corner, there was no one next to me or behind me.
        They just said it was me and machine was right.

  2. Each ATM has to have a CCTV fitted. Why don’t the police show a photo of who they want to question about it.
    I had £50 taken by distraction at the Tesco extra. I went to the machine for £50 and a man standing at the nest atm started swearing and banging the machine saying his wife had stolen all his money when I turned back to the machine there was no money I had the card in my hand but the money had gone, I was under the impression the machine had taken it back. Tesco security man looked on his screen and it showed that when I looked to my right another man who was behind took the money. Nationwide gave me the £50 back.

  3. I recently had a problem at the Co-op Palm Bay ATM. I had requested £250 but nothing came out. There was a phone number on the machine in case of problems, so I called that immediately and they advised my call had been noted and to contact my bank. I went home, called the bank and they advised that in fact the transaction had not gone through. So if you do have a problem, suggest you also so that if there is a scam, you may be refunded.

  4. Would naming a cashpoint be much use ? or will scammers just move to another machine.
    I have no idea , but there are some inside shops and cashback at many shops.
    They ok most times but after I lost £500 I stick with these , its not the same as going to the hole in the wall but at least you get your cash or can say in a shop it not work so you have a witness .
    Saying the above its the only problem I have had in 40 years.
    At a guess places like Asda, Tesco to name a few would be my other option , if the person in front gets their cash then so should I, .if not then why .
    All are busy places cctv and no-one hiding around the corner .

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