SCAMMERS are using high-tech devices to steal money and bank cards from cash machines in Chester city centre, it has emerged.
There have been four reports of Post Office ATM machines being tampered within the last month, according to police.
Three devices were handed into police after being spotted by members of the public, and officers are now warning people to be on their guard.
The inconspicuous gadgets trap money or cards, tricking customers into thinking the machine is broken.
Sgt Andy Burrage, of Chester Inner Police, said: “The device which can be attached to the ATM is relatively unnoticeable and portable. It traps money or cards, making the machine appear to be out of order.
“The money or card is then retrieved by the offender who has been watching and waiting at a safe distance.”
On August 9 and 18 in Northgate Street, members of the public noticed the devices on the Post Office ATM, removed them from the machines and handed them over.
On August 17 in Brook Street, a victim tried to use the Post Office machine and thought the card had been swallowed. Believing the ATM was broken she walked away. The card was then used fraudulently by the thief.
On August 19 another device was found in the Brook Street Post Office ATM and handed over.
Sgt Burrage added: “While we make every effort to hunt down the offenders, we would urge people to be vigilant.
“Anyone who sees someone acting suspiciously should contact police on 101.”
Anyone with information can contact Sgt Burrage on 101 quoting incident number 919 of August 19. Alternatively information can be given anonymously by contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.