Thieves target cash machines

SHOPPERS using cash machines in Clevedon have seen large sums of money stolen from their accounts.

A number of people are understood to have fallen victim to criminals who fitted devices to cash machines outside the town’s Tesco and Asda supermarkets to clone their bank card details. It is thought two machines in the town centre may also have been tampered with.

Melissa and Paul Ford from Clevedon were both targeted by the scam, with more than �1,000 being stolen from one account.

After noticing Paul’s balance had been reduced to just �2, the couple decided to empty Melissa’s account to prevent her money from also being stolen.

The money was withdrawn from Paul’s account on October 14 and 15. Melissa was later contacted by her bank to say there had also been unusual activity in her account.

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Melissa said: “They sold our information to someone in Colombia.

“My card was done at Asda and Paul’s at Tesco.

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“Although the money has been reimbursed, you still have to go through getting a new card and not being able to use the account.

“Even now, we don’t know who might have our details.”

Terrence Bakehouse used the Tesco machine on October 13 and was contacted by his bank a few days later after withdrawals totalling �150 were made in Bogota, Colombia.

The Clevedon resident said: “I know of at least four or five other people who have also had their money stolen.

“On Saturday morning there was a queue of people at one of the desks in Tesco saying their money had been taken.”

Following these incidents, Clevedon police sergeant Jon Simons has advised anyone using cash machines to be vigilant at all times, to immediately contact the relevant bank if a machine looks unusual in any way and to always cover the keyboard when entering a PIN number.

Customers should also look out for anyone acting suspiciously in the area who could be looking to steal the bank card, either through pick pocketing or by installing a device on the cash machine to retain the user’s card.

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