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The Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Card Unit (DCPCU) are warning
of a new ATM fraud where criminals use an invisible ‘cash claw’ to
jam cash machines allowing them to steal customer’s money.
The ‘pre-staging’ starts when a member of the gang uses a
pre-pay card to withdraw a small amount of money.
During the transaction they insert a thin metal instrument into
the cash dispenser so it sits inside the machinery on the belt,
just behind the cash dispenser shutter, making it invisible to the
The criminal then leaves the vicinity while an associate keeps
close watch until a genuine cardholder attempts a withdrawal, only
for the cash to become trapped in the “claw”.
When the bewildered customer gives up and moves on the gang
quickly move in to force the dispenser shutter open and remove the
The deployment of the “Cash Claw” first came to the notice of
the UK banking industry in April after its use had been reported in
Italy, Spain, and Netherlands, and after that the UK. Confirmed
cases are rising exponentially, with the most prolific offending
happening across London, including the City.
Crime Prevention Officer Tony Blake, from the DCPCU, said:
“The ‘cash claw’ is just the latest attempt by small-time crime
gangs to steal customer and their banks money directly out of the
“Industry has quickly wised up to this new methodology and is
working alongside us to catch those responsible and to make it much
more difficult for anyone looking to follow in their