Councillor is victim of cash point scam in West Dulwich
The leader of the Conservative party in Lambeth is advising people to be on their guard after having his debit card stolen while withdrawing cash.
Councillor John Whelan, who represents Thurlow Park ward, fell prey to a scam at an ATM in Croxted Road, West Dulwich, during a downpour on Saturday.
Coun Whelan said the cash machine just blinked when he entered his debit card and a stocky man came up to say it was broken.
Meanwhile a second man, in his early thirties, appeared and waved a piece of paper in front of him.
He said: "Then somehow they vanished. I think they had put something in the machine. Naturally I was a bit stunned by this."
Back home about 15 minutes later he reported the theft to Lloyds TSB by phone with his online account open on his computer.
He said: "While I was talking to them I suddenly saw £500 disappear from my account from the cash point outside Sainsbury’s supermarket in Herne Hill."
Coun Whelan has reported the theft to the police and also Lloyds TSB who agreed to refund the money.
He said: "I was really pleased by the response I had from the Met and bank.
"My advice would be that one has to be extremely alert when using a cash machine in an exposed place and take great care if anyone else is hanging around.
"I felt quite hapless, but have been told it is quite frequent and can happen to anyone."
Police in Lambeth advised cash point users to be wary of people looking over your shoulder, causing distractions to steal cards or talking to the users in order to get them to re-enter their PIN while they are watching.
Call the police on 101 or contact the bank if you suspect a device has been placed in a cash machine.