9 July 2014, 07:57
Police are issuing a warning after 'fraud strips' were found on two cash machines in Portsmouth this week.
The devices hold onto the money so it can be collected later by thieves.
A man tried to withdraw cash from a dispenser in Tangier Road during the early hours of Monday morning (7 July). He became suspicious when the machine did not deliver any notes despite appearing to accept his request. The man checked the machine and found a plastic strip preventing his cash from being dispensed.
He contacted Hampshire Constabulary, and officers examined the machine for further evidence as well as checking other cashpoints nearby.
A second similar plastic strip was found a short time later by police checking a cashpoint in Copnor Road.
Hampshire Constabulary Crime Prevention Advisor Sarah Cohen said:
"These two plastic strip devices both appeared to be attached in a way to make someone believe that no money has been dispensed, when actually it has.
"It cleverly 'scoops up' the cash and keeps it hidden from view. You will probably hear the normal sound that is made when the cash is dispensed, but not see it.
"The idea of these types of scam is that a member of the public walks away assuming the cashpoint is faulty, allowing the criminal to return to the cashpoint later and retrieve the cash and the plastic strip.
"Thankfully the man in Tangier Road discovered the 'fraud strip' and was able to retrieve his money before anyone had an opportunity to steal it."
Anyone else who may be affected or who has information about a scam matching this description in Portsmouth is asked to contact Hampshire Constabulary by phoning 101. Mini-com users can phone 18001 101. Information can be given anonymously by phoning the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.