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Police launch Operation Astoria to fight Crewe cash machine fraud
FRAUDSTERS from East European gangs have targeted Crewe cash machines as part of county-wide scams.
The town has seen seven incidents of tampered ATMs in recent months.
Cheshire Constabulary has launched Operation Astoria in response to the issue.
DC Tony Condon, from the Economic Crime Unit said: "Our intelligence suggests that organised crime groups are responsible for the attacks and are of Eastern European origin, which has in turn led to more overseas spend on fraudulent UK cards, and stolen identity.”
There are three main ways that fraudster will strike.
Card Skimming: Fraudsters hide adapted mobile phone video technology above the keypad to capture PINs. A false mouth piece copies details from the magnetic strip of the card.
Once copied, information is transferred to a new card with the same PIN, allowing withdrawal of money from the victim’s account.
Card Entrapment: Hidden video again captures the PIN, in tandem with a device that traps the card inside the ATM. The victim believes the card has been retained by the cash machine due to a problem. The fraudster later recovers the original card and PIN.
Cash Trapping: The fraudster will place a device over the area where the money is released from the cash machine. The device traps the money making the victim believe that the machine has a problem. The fraudster will then collect the device and the accumulated money.
DC Condon added: “We are asking all members of the public to be vigilant when using a cash machine and to be aware of any suspicious activity around cash points, which may be an attempt to deploy a device."
To report suspicious activity, contact Cheshire Police on 101 or visit the fraud page at cheshire.police.uk.