Cash machine conmen steal £1,600 from customer

nearly £2,000 was cleared from a Selkirk man’s bank accounts following fraud at a cash machine outside Asda in Galashiels, writes Sally Gillespie.

Fraudsters had installed a device to read Mike Pearson’s card and pin number when he took out money at the RBS hole-in-the-wall and checked another account at the supermarket at New Year.

And a week later his cards for both accounts were mysteriously stopped.

“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’s funny’ because I’d used the card the day before. I checked my other card but it was the same. I just thought it was a glitch, something wrong with the hole-in-the-wall.”

But when he went to the RBS branch in Selkirk on the Monday he was told the fraud police had stopped his card because thieves had taken £1,600 from both his current and savings accounts in euros over January 6, 7 and 8.

“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.”

He takes the usual precautions when using a cash dispenser, but said: “It wouldn’t have mattered. 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.

“The police were 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 refunded Mr Pearson’s money the same day.

But since then people have received texts warning against using the cash machines outside Asda.

This week a spokesperson for the supermarket said: “We’d like to reassure our customers that the cash machines at our store have been checked thoroughly for any tampering and we can confirm 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.”