Warning over London gangs
GANGS from London could be targeting Felixstowe's cashpoint users because of the resort's lack of CCTV, it was warned today.Closed-circuit TV cameras could deter the thieves who attach skimming devices to bank machines to clone cards - or catch them in the act.
GANGS from London could be targeting Felixstowe's cashpoint users because of the resort's lack of CCTV, it was warned today.
Closed-circuit TV cameras could deter the thieves who attach skimming devices to bank machines to clone cards - or catch them in the act.
Financial institutions says card cloning at cashpoints is costing the banks £400 million-plus a year - but under new laws the police only have to investigate it if the banks ask them.
In the past two months, bank machines at TSB Lloyds and Nationwide in Felixstowe town centre have been targeted with thousands of pounds taken from people's accounts.
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At the end of last year, machines in Ipswich were also targeted.
Doreen Savage, chairman of Felixstowe CCTV task group, said the lack of cameras was making the resort a “soft touch”.
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“We desperately need CCTV cameras and this sort of crime highlights why - if we had cameras the thieves would be deterred and if they still came we would have a chance of identifying them,” she said.
“People have a right to feel safe shopping and the town centre is of benefit to the whole town, which is why we must protect it.
“We have campaigned long and hard for cameras and we are almost there, but if certain councillors keep insisting the cameras should not be sited in the town centre we may lose the funding and end up with nothing.”
Councillor Mike Ninnmey has been angry that the £36,000 was awarded to buy mobile cameras for trouble hotspots in areas around the town to protect residents but is to be used for static cameras in the town centre for businesses instead.
Cashpoint thieves were in Felixstowe at the weekend. They skimmed details from one man's account at 2pm and were using a cloned card in St John's Wood, London, just four hours later, taking £600 from his account.
The thieves attach a false front to the part of the cashpoint where a user inserts their cards - this device then reads the details from the card's magnetic strip and wirelessly sends them to the thief waiting in a car nearby.
In addition, an accomplice may wait near the machine and take note of people's PIN numbers as they punch them in, or a tiny camera - hidden in a leaflet dispenser or under the top of the machine - will record the PIN.
Police have warned people to be very careful and to check machines thoroughly before they use them for any suspicious devices, check no-one is nearby and cover to keyboard as you insert your PIN.
Have you been a victim of “skimming”? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk