Thieves try to grab bank card from customer at Lloyds in Ickenham

Thieves try to grab bank card from customer at Lloyds in Ickenham Lloyds in Swakeleys Road Ickenham, courtesy of Google maps

Two men tried to steal a bank card out of the hand of a customer as he used the cash machine outside Lloyds in Ickenham this weekend, Hillingdon is Here has been told.

Hillingdon Neighbourhood Watch (HNW) reported that the attempted theft happened at about 12.30pm yesterday.

The victim was one of the organisation's watch coordinators and was able to fend off the advances of the would-be thieves. Residents have been warned, via an email alert, and police have been informed.

The news come after Lloyds this week said it would be cutting the hours the cash machine was available after customer concerns about fraud at that same ATM.

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The perpetrators of yesterday's attempted theft have been described as “two dark skinned males, mid 30s, possibly both wearing baseball caps”.

One is said to have fled towards Ivy house after being thwarted, while the other headed in the direction towards the pump.

Both men were reported to have said "isn't it working" before one leaned over and pressed the card eject button “quite aggressively”. The resident was quick and knocked his hand away and got his card back, HNW reported.

They were unsuccessful because the victim quickly realised what was happening, HNW said.

As reported by Hillingdon is Here yesterday, Lloyds said earlier this week it was reducing the hours the machine would be in use due to concerns raised a few weeks ago about a possible fraud device being used there.

As a result, the Ickenham ATM will be open only during the working day, Monday to Saturday, Lloyds said.

Hillingdon Neighbourhood Watch said it had been alerted to a possible fraud device by a customer, who had called police at the end of last month. Lloyds, however, indicated it had not been notified by the police of a fraud incident at this machine.

Lloyds provided a statement to Hillingdon is Here earlier this week, before the attempted theft report from yesterday, which read: “We take any threat of fraud most seriously. We have not identified the presence of a card fraud device at this ATM but, due to customer concern, we are reducing the hours that the machine is in service.

“We encourage customers to be vigilant when using ATMs and to report any concerns to the bank.”

Inspector Rob Bryan, who heads policing in Ickenham, had this general advice on ATM use.

He said: "Thieves will target ATMs, using a variety of devises to copy or steal your card. Always pay attention to who is around you and if your card is not returned, stand at the machine and phone your bank to cancel the card straight away".

Inspector Bryan added the following advice:

1. Be very wary of anyone trying to help you with an ATM transaction. This is a distraction technique.

2. Do not use an ATM that looks unusual - check the card slot and the roof of the alcove for attachments.

3. Make sure no one is looking over your shoulder when you enter your PIN. Memorise your PIN, don't write it down.

4. Monitor your bank statements and balances and report problems immediately to your bank.

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