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Police issue cash machine warning after "Lebanese loops" found in Dartford

Police have warned cash machine users to be on their guard after attempts to steal from customers in Dartford.

Fraudsters inserted what are known as "Lebanese loops" on ATMs in Hythe Street, which were discovered on Thursday.

The devices are strips of metal or plastic that block the card slot and give a victim the impression that their card has been swallowed by the machine. Once they have left, the fraudster can return to remove the device and steal the card having registered the owner's PIN.

Cash machines have been tampered with in Dartford
Cash machines have been tampered with in Dartford

Sgt Dave Crompton said: "Often the person who tampered with the ATM will appear and offer to help the person whose card has been swallowed, watching while they re-type their PIN. They are then free to help themselves to money that does not belong to them.

"It is therefore very important that people take extra care when attempting to withdraw cash by shielding the keypad and being aware of anyone acting suspiciously around them.

"Also look out for anything unusual such as unofficial ‘out of order’ notices that direct you to one particular ATM, or screens that are misaligned or blurry."

Anyone who wishes to report suspicious cash machine activity should call 101 or Kent Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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