Scamwatch: new cash machine con

Don't get taken in by this crafty distraction scam

Woman using cash machine

Stay one step ahead of the fraudsters with our series of articles giving you the lowdown on the scams they use to trick people out of their hard-earned cash - and how to avoid being taken in by them.

This week, a new cash machine distraction scam that involves criminals swapping your card with a fake one.

How does it work?

Barclays Bank has issued a warning about a crafty new cash machine fraud in a bid to prevent more people falling foul of the distraction scam.

The scam involves a customer using an ATM getting distracted when the person behind him or her drops a bag on the floor.

As the customer turns to help pick up the bag, an accomplice using an adjacent machine swaps the victim's card with a fake one, before stepping away and then getting the customer's PIN from the bag dropper, who read it over the customer's shoulder.

The thieves then have everything they need to raid the cardholder's bank account.

How can I avoid being caught out?

Barclays is warning people not to be distracted when at a cash machine and to ignore anyone who tries to talk to you, even if they appear helpful.

Other top tips include choosing machines in well-lit area, and avoiding making a withdrawal if there are suspicious people nearby.

I've been defrauded. What should I do?

Contact your bank or card provider immediately if you notice any unexplained withdrawals from your account. Cancelling your card should enable you to prevent any further theft.

If you see any suspicious or criminal activity you see at an ATM, it is also worth reporting it to the police by calling 101.

ATM skimming - how to spot ATM skimmers