10/11/2004

Industry urges NI to ‘play safe’ with cash cards

Cash machine users were today advised to keep playing safe when making cash withdrawals, despite fraudulent cash withdrawals in Northern Ireland falling by 8% to £368,000 over the past year.

However, despite a fall in Northern Ireland figures the rest of the UK saw an average rise of 85% in fraudulent cash withdrawals over the same period.

One of the main reasons for this increase is the rise in the use of skimming devices, which copy card details, and miniature camera devices, which record cardholders’ PINs at cash machines. The organised gangs behind these attacks initially targeted large cities, but this type of crime is now occurring across the country.

Across the UK cash machine crime is now the fastest growing category of card fraud in the year to June 2004. Despite this, total losses of £61.1 million represent less than 0.05% of the £144 billion of money safely withdrawn from cash machines in the UK.

Sandra Quinn, director of corporate communications for APACS, the UK Payments Association, said: “Criminals are making extra efforts to target cash machines before chip and PIN – which will prevent the use of skimmed cards in cash machines - is fully rolled out.

“In the meantime we all need to be more vigilant when we use our cards. By following our top ten tips cardholders will minimise their chances of falling victim to cash machine crime.”

In its efforts to reduce cash machine crime, APACS said it has enlisted the support of Crimestoppers, with whom it has worked in the past and who can be contacted on 0800 555111.

(MB/SP)

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