Police warn of cash machine card cloning scam

Officers give advice on how to protect yourself from the latest criminal scam happening in the capital city region.

File picture of cash machine / Credit: News Now Finland

Helsinki Police are warning members of the public to be on the look out for devices at cash machines which can clone their cards as they withdraw money.

The warnings come after a spate of incidents in the capital city region where members of the public think their cards were duplicated, and money withdrawn from their accounts.

Police say that as cards are increasingly used to make payments, so criminals are increasingly targeting cards to get hold of the information to access accounts. Some of the prime locations for criminals to install card cloning devices – known as ‘skimmers’ – include busy cash dispensers at petrol stations or train stations.

“It is good to check the cash machine doesn’t look abnormal. Check the card reader is securely fastened to the machine – skimmers are usually only lightly attached because they’ll be in place only for a short period of time” advises Leif Malmberg from the East Uusimaa police.

“Shield your pin code with your hand so that any camera which might be attached to the machine can’t see it” Malmberg says.

Other advice the police give includes setting up daily withdrawal limits on the card with your bank.

Police say if you suspect any fraud on your account, report it to authorities immediately and cancel your card to minimize further damage. Police say they should be notified quickly because the card skimmers can be taken away quickly once the alarm is raised about a specific machine.