POLICE are reminding people to be vigilant at cash-points following reports of tampering by thieves to steal money.

Devices to prevent cash being withdrawn are reported to have been found at an ATM in Cheltenham and one in Gloucester during the early hours of Tuesday, July 15.

It is suspected these were placed by an offender planning to retrieve the cash after its rightful owners had left the scene. Both attempts failed, however.

A device believed to have been attached to record customers’ PINs was also reported to have been found at a cash-point in Stroud the same morning.

These can be used together with another device to retain your card; it means if you don’t conceal your PIN as you enter it, offenders can take your card when you think it’s just been retained by your bank and, as they have your PIN too, they can spend money from your account. They will usually do this until it dries up or the card is stopped.

Remember the following:

• Always cover your PIN when entering it at a cash-point or in a shop;

• Check cash-points carefully for anything suspicious and call police straight away if concerned;

• If your card or cash is retained, phone your bank immediately, preferably before you leave the scene.

Pc Annabel Brittain said: "Criminals involved in this type of activity anywhere in the UK should be warned that several people are currently serving lengthy prison sentences for cash-point card-trapping in Gloucestershire and others are being investigated or are in the court process.

"Be warned that if you do this here, you too are likely to be caught and sent to prison."

If you saw suspicious activity near cash-points in Rutherford Way, Cheltenham, Bristol Road, Gloucester or Tanglewood Way, Chalford on July 15th please call police straight away, quoting incident number 60 of 15/7/14; or you can call CrimeStoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.