Edinburgh police issue warning as scammers swap card machines for fake ones

Police Scotland are warning businesses in Edinburgh after a series of debit card scams were reported in the capital by fraudsters using their own card reader instead of one owned by the establishment.

Several reports indicated that the scammers were exchanging chip and pin machines with fake ones, causing all payments to go directly to their own bank account.

This happened in the city center twice on Thursday, January 20, 2022, resulting in the theft of an estimated five-figure sum of money from businesses. These are being treated as related incidents and investigations are currently underway.

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Businesses are now being warned not to leave these devices unattended or alone with customers.

Sergeant Janie Harman of the Department of Prevention, Response and Partnerships said: ‘We urge retail and hospitality staff to be extremely vigilant and ensure they check devices at any time, even when not in use.

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“If you believe you have been the victim of this type of fraud, contact your bank immediately, ensure any CCTV is secure and contact the police on 101, or in an emergency always call 999.”

“Anyone with information about these incidents who has not yet contacted Police Scotland should call 101, quoting reference 1971 of 20 January 2022, or report information anonymously via the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”