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ATM Scam Warning: Beware Hidden iPods Filming Your PIN Number At Cash Machines

Authorities are warning ATM users of a new scam that involves an older model iPod that records the user entering his or her PIN number into the cash machine as well as the numbers on the debit or credit card.

The incident was originally discovered at an ATM in Heaton Moor, Cambridge where a hidden iPod was secured to the top of the ATM and was set to record the keypad and cash machine screen so that the crooks could capture the user’s PIN, card numbers, and potentially the balance that showed on the screen. However, just in case, the scam went a bit further and used a device to mimic that the card was trapped in the ATM, in hopes the customer would simply believe it was stuck in the machine and walk away from the card, according to Metro.

The scam goes beyond a simple card skimmer, which has been in use for many years now. With the introduction of chips in many bank cards, criminals know it is not enough to simply clone the strip on the cards, so they need to become more innovative in their methods.

A group of men visited the ATM in Heaton Moor, Cambridge on Wednesday night after meeting for a meal and deciding to head out for a night on the town. As one individual placed is card in the ATM, he shielded his hand as he entered his PIN, as has become his habit, but realized the ATM would not give his card back to him.

“I use that machine a lot, it looks a bit shabby, all beaten up and scratched, but I didn’t notice anything wrong with it at first.”

One of his friends checked the ATM out, hoping to help retrieve the stuck card, and realized there was something odd about the cash machine. A bit of investigation revealed that the ATM was obviously messed with. Near the top of the ATM, just above the keypad, a strange box with a flashing light was mounted so that it could record everything that happened below. It was just small enough to not notice at first.

The guys removed the box and found that an iPod Nano was secured inside, set to record everything. As soon as they removed the iPod, a car at the end of the road sped off, leading the men to believe the inhabitants of the vehicle were the ones responsible for the device.

“We noticed a car was parked at the end of Lea Road – and when we found the scamming device, all of a sudden it put its lights on and drove away quickly.”

In addition to the makeshift iPod recording device, a false card slot was also installed, according to the Birmingham Mail, allowing the criminals to gain access to the physical card as it refused to let the card exit the ATM.

Since the discovery at the ATM in Heaton Moor, Cambridge, more similar devices have been discovered in multiple locations. It is suspected the trick is being used worldwide.

It is believed that an organized criminal gang is responsible for tampering with the ATMs, possibly using stolen iPods. It us unknown how much money the criminals are gaining from the scam, but police warn ATM users to be cautious when entering their PINs and be wary if the machine refuses to give their cards back.

Sergeant Roni Doyle of the West Midlands Police urged individuals to simply be on guard for suspicious ATMs.

“Always cover the key pad as you put enter your PIN as most of the time this will thwart any criminal’s attempts to clone your card.”

[Image Via Shutterstock]

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