Warning after card cloners hit south bank

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POLICE are warning residents in the Grimsby and Cleethorpes areas to be vigilant when using cash machines after a woman had a “large amount” of money stolen in a suspected card-cloning fraud.

Once described as Britain’s fastest-growing crime, there have been dozens of victims in the East Riding and now it is feared cash machines are being targeted on the south bank of the Humber.

A spokeswoman for Humberside Police said: “Investigations into the incident are continuing and police want to warn others to look out for anything suspicious.

“In the run-up to Christmas people are very busy and a quick stop to a cash machine may seem like a simple thing to do, but it could result in a lot of unwanted stress if your card is cloned and money is stolen from your bank account.

“Police are aware that a number of people will not notice these devices and will make their withdrawals as normal.

“Criminals use the copied details to produce a fake magnetic stripe card, which will be used - with the correct PIN – at cash machines or shops that haven’t yet been upgraded to chip and PIN. Customers who shield the keypad when they enter their PIN are much less likely to fall victim to this type of fraud.”

She added: “If the cash machine appears to have been tampered with, please report this to the bank or to the police.

“Some of the devices used are very well designed and can often be difficult to spot. Do not be afraid to ask the question to the bank if you suspect anything suspicious.”

Three years ago, Romanian Adu Bunu was jailed at Hull Crown Court for five years after stealing £43,000 from shoppers by copying their card details at cash machines.

The 35-year-old – who took a photograph of his son sitting on piles of the cash he stole – was part of an international plot that saw fake fronts and cameras fitted to automatic teller machines (ATMs) in Yorkshire and beyond.