Stealing ATM Pin codes using thermal imaging
Fraudsters are targeting cash machine users with a new device called the 'Lebanese Loop' Reuters

Police are warning ATM users to take extra care when making withdrawals because of a device called a "Lebanese Loop" which criminals are using to steal peoples' cash.

One version of the device, which got its name due to its popularity with criminals in Beirut, works by retaining the cash card once a user has inputted their PIN. When they go to complain the scammers take the card and as much cash as they can withdraw from another ATM.

Some fraudsters go even further, coming forward and offering to help the unlucky customer retrieve their card but at the same time memorising their PIN or filming the victim inputting their numbers.

Many of the tampered-with ATMs tend to be near pubs, clubs and restaurants, where victims may be more careless than usual. Police are warning that customers should take extra care and if a machine looks unusual, not to use it.

ATMs where the card receiver projects more than usual should be treated with particular caution. If a card is retained the user is advised to stay by the machine and call the bank to cancel it if it seems safe to do so. ATMs where someone is loitering nearby should also be avoided.

Most banks refund customers when they have been the victim of cash machine scams, but it is not a victim-less crime as the costs are passed on to all customers. In 2013 the estimated cost to banks in the UK alone reached £32m.

Criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated with cash machine devices because of the relatively low risk and ease of making devices, sometimes using 3D home printers.