Nottinghamshire Police is urging people to be vigilant following a spate of thefts involving cash machines in Arnold, Gedling and Netherfield.
Four victims were targeted last Monday (6) – resulting in losses of £2,700.
A man in his 70s was targeted as he used a cash machine in Front Street, Arnold. After inserting his card and entering his pin, the machine froze and a man purporting to be a member of staff approached him and said it was broken.
He then advised the customer to return to the branch the next day to retrieve his bank card. When he went back the next day, staff were unaware of the incident and checks found the card had been used to withdraw £1,000 during three cash withdrawals.
Another victim lost £400 in similar circumstances after using a cash machine in Netherfield, while a bankcard was stolen from in a woman in a distraction theft at an ATM in Gedling. In the latter case, the victim was able to cancel the stolen card before it could be used by the thief.
Another man in his late 70s was targeted in West Bridgford on the same day. He was approached by two men who offered to help him, as the machine appeared to have swallowed his card. In the confusion that followed, the two men managed to steal two bankcards from the pensioner, before going on to make two cash withdrawals of £500 and £800.
Detective Sergeant Tara Clapperton, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “An investigation into these incidents is underway and, due to the proximity and timings of the reported thefts, it is likely they are linked.
“We are pursuing various lines of inquiry and are doing everything we can to find those responsible, while offering support and advice to the victims as they seek to apply for their losses to be refunded.
“In the meantime, we are encouraging the public to be vigilant when using ATMs. Cover your PIN and keep an eye on your card at all times. If someone taps you on the shoulder or tries to speak to you, politely say you do not require any assistance.
“When you’ve left the ATM, put your card away immediately. Where possible, consider using an ATM inside a bank branch or shop where staff are present.”
You can report incidents by contacting Nottinghamshire Police on 101. In an emergency, call 999.