Cash machine conmen steal £1,600 from Souter

Mike Pearson bank card fraud.
Mike Pearson bank card fraud.

A SELKIRK man has praised the swift action of the fraud-bursting cops and his bank after thieves stole £1,600 from his account, writes Sally Gillespie.

Mike Pearson withdrew money and checked his other account at the RBS cash machine outside Asda in Galashiels at the end of the year. But a few days later when he went to take money from the RBS hole-in- the-wall in Selkirk his card wouldn’t work.

He told The Wee Paper: “When I went on Sunday (January 9) to get some money out in Selkirk it wouldn’t work and I got a slip of paper saying my card was not activated. I thought that was funny because I’d used the card the day before. I checked my other card and it was the same.

“I didn’t think there was anything wrong, I just thought it was a glitch, something wrong with the hole-in- the-wall.”

But when he went to the RBS in Selkirk on the Monday he was told that fraud police had stopped his card and that thieves had taken the £1,600 in Euros out of both his accounts over 6, 7 and 8 January in Ireland.

Mike told us:“I was a bit shocked – we are just wee people here, we are working hard, earning a little money and you get some people come along and try to take that away from you. It gives you a bad taste in the mouth.

“I got such a shock that I couldn’t access any money.

“You know it happens in the world but you don’t expect it to happen to you.”

He takes the usual precautions when using a cash dispenser but said: “It wouldn’t have mattered. There was nothing that could have been done. It’s to do with technology. The police didn’t say exactly what it was, it was something put on the machine that you wouldn’t notice.

“It’s a device fraudsters use on the machines that is not easy to see or detect. When you put your card in it reads your card and also reads your pin number and sends them to the thieves.

“The police seem to be very quick – if there are any unusual withdrawals it must flag up somewhere. The bank and the fraud police were excellent.

“The bank did say they are always checking outside to make sure nothing looks out of place.”

“There’s been quite a few people hit locally the bank told me.”

The bank refunded the stolen money the same day.

Since the theft people have received texts warning against using the cash machines at Asda.

A spokesperson for Asda this week said: ‘Following a speculative text message that has been doing the rounds in the Borders, we’d like to reassure all of our customers at Asda, Galashiels that the cash machines at our store have been checked thoroughly for any tampering and we can confirm that they are safe to use.

“All of the machines are fitted with a unique anti tamper device and our store security team will continue to check the machines daily and are on alert.

“We’ve had no reported incidents of accounts being affected.”