express– The scam has been highlighted by the Metropolitan Police on Twitter after a series of attacks in south London.
One man, who remains anonymous, said that he thinks he disturbed the thieves as he waited by the cash point after his money didn’t surface.
The man took to Reddit to warn others and said: “I started calling the bank and while on the phone I looked closely and the exit seemed strange compared to the machine next to it that looked normal.
“I figured there was something stuck on top, and after some attempts I managed to pry it off and the cash was inside.
“Still on the phone with the device in my hand, the perpetrators arrived to collect their winnings but saw me standing there. They turned around and left.”
In a tweet, the Metropolitan Police advised: “Fraudsters sometimes fit devices to ATMs that trap your card or ‘eat’ it.
“They then retrieve it as soon as you’ve left.
“If an ATM eats your card for any reason, report it to your card company straight away.”
Police also said that it’s a good idea to scan the area around cash machines before people use them.
On its website it stated: “Be aware of anyone standing close by and always check the machine to see if it’s been tampered with before you use it.
“Things to look out for are devices attached to the machine – some are more obvious than others.
“If you do see something suspicious contact the police and the bank.
“Remember, if it doesn’t look or feel right then steer clear and, if possible, go inside the bank where it will be safer.
“And always keep a regular check on your transactions.”
According to Statista more than £28million was lost to cash machine scams in the UK in 2020.
Devices like skimmer attachments and cameras are used to record card details while cards can also be trapped in the same way as cash.
In July, Nationwide Building Society urged customers to look out for withdrawal slots covered by a plastic box.
The money is trapped behind the box unbeknown to the customer who usually assumes the machine is broken and walks away.
At the time a Nationwide spokesperson said: “The type of incident highlighted in the video, although rare, can happen to ATMs anywhere at any time.
“Nationwide has a range of measures in place to try and combat these types of scams.
“However, as the video also demonstrates, it is important that people remain vigilant and check for any suspicious devices when using ATMs, especially those located outside.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a 24 percent increase in scams compared to the year before, leading many to call it a scamdemic.