Barclays steps up crackdown on ATM skimmers

Barclays steps up crackdown on ATM skimmers

The UK bank Barclays is rolling out an anti-skimming device across a further 188 cash machines in London, including the bank's 22 ATMs located at London Underground stations, following successful trials of the system.

Cash machine fraud in the UK rose by 85% to £61 million in the year to June 2004, according to figures from UK payments body Apacs.

Barclays began trialling the anti-skimming device at 100 cash machines last month. Should this extended trial prove as successful Barclays says it will look to roll out the devices across its entire ATM network next year.

The bank says the new device virtually eradicated ATM fraud for European banks using the system. The device fits over the card slot on an ATM and prevents a fake reader being attached. The machine automatically shuts down if it detects anything suspicious.

Barnaby Davis, head of ATMs at Barclays comments: "There is no denying that ATM fraud is up across the industry which is why we are working extra hard to stay one step ahead of the criminals."

In November London Underground warned staff to be on the look out for suspicious activity at cash machines across the tube network after discovering card skimming devices attached to station ATMs. Barclays says so far seven of its underground ATMs have been fitted with the anti-skimming devices. Its remaining 15 machines located at underground stations will be fitted with the device before Christmas.

Furthermore, Barclays says it will start putting posters in branches to highlight the dangers of ATM fraud and inform customers of ways to protect themselves.

The bank has also limited daily withdrawals on a single card to £300 in an attepmt to clamp down on ATM card fraud.

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