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of Crooks Disabling ATM Machines to Get Your Card-Truth!
There is more than one version of this being circulated.
One is in narrative form from a person who said she was scammed at
an ATM machine. She was trying to use the machine, but got a
message that it was out of order. A woman nearby told her the
same thing had happened to her and gave her instructions on how to
solve the problem, which included keying in her PIN number a couple
of times. Her card was not returned and she figured it was
stuck in the machine. What had actually happened, however, was
that a thief had placed what is called a "Lebanese Loop"
into the machine, a plastic sleeve that temporarily disabled the
machine and captured her card. After the woman bystander took
note of the card user's PIN number, she later retrieved the card
from the machine and used it to withdraw cash.
Another version is in the form of a PowerPoint presentation with
images from a hidden camera showing a crook in action at an ATM and
using this methodology to steal a customer's ATM card.
This type of ATM card fraud is true although the term "Lebanese
Loop" is not the most common way of referring to it.
TruthOrFiction.com has found substantiation of this scam from Credit
Union Executive Magazine, the television program "20-20,"
and a law enforcement agency.
The technique is to disable
the ATM machine, trick a card user into entering a PIN number and in
a way that can be either observed or detected, then the thieves
retrieve the card and use it.
The version of the eRumor circulating with the PowerPoint presentation
documents an actual thief at work. It was captured by a
surveillance camera. The ATM card used in the pictorial
demonstration indicates that it is from the Royal Bank of Trinidad and
Tobago but another version of the PowerPoint presentation uses the
logo of Barclay's bank. One of the original postings of the
series was on an Italian website.
It is only one of many scams
involving ATM machines. One of the more elaborate has involved
crooks actually putting a fake front on ATM machines that looks like
the real thing and collects card numbers and PIN numbers.
Police warn that the most common problem at automated bank machines
is crooks who either hover over users' shoulders to get their PIN
numbers or who are watching from afar with scopes and then look for
an opportunity to steal the card.
A real example of the story as it has been circulated:
Subject: Fw: ATM fraud - Not a joke
I received the following e-mail from one of my sisters
and have since forwarded it to our officers here at the Office of
Consumer Affairs at Industry Canada for further investigation.
This message is sent to you so that you are at least better
off safe than sorry.
Just wanted to warn you about something that happened to me the other day. I was
getting some cash out at the cash point outside at HSBC on George Street. I
put my card in and a message came up on the screen saying the machine was
temporarily out of order. A lady approached me and told me that this had happened
to her the other day and what I needed to do was key my pin number in
and then press cancel twice. I did this and of course no card was returned.
I left the machine thinking that it had swallowed my card. But when I
returned to HSBC the following morning, my card wasn't there.
According to the police this method of stealing bankcards
is called the Lebanese loop'. A plastic envelope is made up that fits
the hole in the machine perfectly. When you put your card in,
the machine knows it is there but cannot read it and
therefore the message comes up on the screen. Once the pin number has been
given away and the card left in the machine, it is then 'looped'
out and the spending starts! I had 500 taken from my Account before
I realized what had happened and cancelled it.
The woman who approached me at the cash point was late 40's in age, 5.3
in height, dark hair and eyes. The way she was dressed was smart as
if she had just left work.
Please pass this information on to all your family and friends.
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