A Lebanese loop uses strips or sleeves made out of metal or plastic, which block card slots at ATMs. Victims’ cards are trapped and retained, to be retrieved by the criminals later on.
Some criminals even offer to help, watching and memorizing the number as the victim re-enters their PIN.
In the past, the thieves had to hang around and try and watch as the victim tapped in their PIN. Now, they can use an iPod to video the number as it’s entered.
According to the police, thieves rarely leave the devices in situ for long, returning after dark to retrieve the stolen cards and the iPod with the PIN numbers recorded. Prime sites tend to be near pubs and restaurants.
The devices aren’t necessarily obvious, but may stick out further than the genuine parts of the machine.
Last month one man was sentenced to 12 months in prison for a series of frauds using Lebanese loops in London that netted him £4,373.
Protect yourself from cash point fraud
Always look closely at the card insertion point of a cash machine before using it. If it looks like it may have been tampered with, do not use it.
If you realise the machine has been tampered with after you have inserted your card, call your bank while still standing at the cash machine if it is safe to do so.
Always shield your hand when entering your PIN into a cash point keypad.
More advice at actionfraud.police.uk.
Anybody that thinks they’ve spotted a Lebanese loop or other suspect device should avoid using the ATM and call the police on 101.
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1) Make our website your homepage
2) Like our Facebook page
3) Follow us on Twitter
4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!
Always the first with your local news.
Be part of it.