Card fraud gang skim thousands

DOZENS of people are today reeling after having tens of thousands of pounds stolen from their accounts by an international card skimming gang - and police are not even investigating.

Richard Cornwell

DOZENS of people are today reeling after having tens of thousands of pounds stolen from their accounts by an international card skimming gang - and police are not even investigating.

It has caused untold worry among people in Felixstowe, but the thefts have not been listed as crimes because new government laws say it is not worth wasting police time looking into them.

Banks simply write-off the lost cash, unless they have evidence and report the incidents to the police themselves.

Account holders do get reimbursed but the process can take up to ten days.

Today one young mum told how £1,000 was stolen using her cashpoint card details - by thieves raiding her account from Argentina.

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Anna Knights, 21, of High Street, Walton, Felixstowe, used one of the bank machines at the town's Morrison's superstore - days later she found £470 had been taken out of her account and ran up an overdraft of £560.

She is one of dozens of people in the town who have found between £300 and £1,000 missing from their accounts during the past fortnight after thieves fixed skimming devices to bank machines to steal account details from cards.

Details are then transmitted to accomplices via the internet and cloned cards made.

Miss Knights, who lives with her partner and baby Molly Rose, said: “It left me really upset and very worried because suddenly all my money was gone. It is really quite scary someone can steal your personal details in Felixstowe and then withdraw money in Argentina.”

A spokeswoman for Barclays Bank said the new laws passed a year ago

now meant police only investigate cashpoint crime if the bank requests them to do so.

She said: “The problem is that these criminals leave no evidence - nothing for the police to investigate.

“If we have evidence, such as CCTV footage or a skimming device left on a machine, we would call in the police.”

A Suffolk police spokeswoman said if people reported cashpoint crime it was noted but not investigated and the victim was referred to their bank who might decide to report it if there had been a spate of offences.

She said if cashpoint users spot a skimming device or anything suspicious on the machine they should phone 999 immediately.

Should police be investigating these thefts - or is it a waste of police time? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or you can always send an e-mail to The Evening Star via EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk