Bank customers are being swindled out of thousands of pounds by crooks who send them fake card readers to harvest their account details and codes

Criminals have been sending out fake card reader machines in latest bank scamBy inserting their card the criminals are able to get vital details from the victimsAction Fraud, has received 560 reports of card readers being sent out for scams

Scammers have been successfully stealing hundreds of thousands of pounds from online banking customers by sending them fake card readers which takes the account holder’s details.

Online banking has seen a sharp rise in popularity over the past few years, but the Chartered Trading Standard Institute warned that this has caused an increase in this type of fraud.

The criminals have been cold calling household phones and giving the victim enough details to make their fraudulent story believable and sending out fake card reader machines.

The devices resemble those which are sent out to customers by particular high street banks who use them as an additional security measure when logging into their online bank accounts.

But by inserting their card into the machine, the criminals are able to get vital details from the victims and therefore steal their money.

Scammers have been successfully stealing hundreds of thousands of pounds from online banking customers by sending them fake card readers which takes the account holder's details (file photo)

Scammers have been successfully stealing hundreds of thousands of pounds from online banking customers by sending them fake card readers which takes the account holder’s details (file photo)

The Telegraph spoke to Stephen and Barbara Jenkins, whose names were changed to keep them anonymous, who discovered that £20,000 had been stolen from their savings bank account without them realising.

The couple, who are in their 70s, fell victim to a criminal who claimed to be a NatWest member of staff, who called them multiple times to gain their trust.

He eventually sent out two card readers in the post and did a follow-up phone call to make sure they inserted the cards so he could drain their funds on purchases at online retailers.

They said: ‘We have no knowledge of technology and are frightened to do anything. We both feel very vulnerable.’

Katherine Hart of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute said: ‘We are aware of devices which read the “chip and pin” on a card to harvest and clone its data and others where a live link is set up with the scammer and a transaction is taken out immediately.’

Action Fraud, who has received 560 reports of card readers like the ones that led Mr and Mrs Jenkins to lose their money, said: ‘Criminals are using increasingly sophisticated methods, especially amid the pressures and confusion of the cost of living crisis and in the aftermath of the pandemic, as all generations are having to become more reliant.’

Age UK’s Caroline Abrahams said: ‘Fraud affects people of all ages and backgrounds, but we know that older people with higher incomes, or who live alone, are more likely to report having been a victim.

‘This is going to be a tough year for everyone, so we urge older people to be vigilant and remember, if there is any doubt about the authenticity of an offer or piece of correspondence, do not respond and report it to the authorities immediately.’

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