Two people in Peterborough have had hundreds of pounds stolen from their bank accounts after car park payment machines gobbled up their cards.
Both incidents happened on Saturday - one at Ferry Meadows and one at Car Haven Car Park near the Town Hall, with police saying card skimming devices may have been to blame.
An investigation has now been launched.
The first incident was at around 9.30am when a woman in her 70s went to use a card payment machine at a Ferry Meadows car park. The machine did not return her card and the victim later discovered £700 had been taken from her account.
Then at about 11.30am a man in his 70s tried to use a card payment machine at the Car Haven Car Park. The machine failed to return his card and £530 was stolen.
On both occasions the victims were approached by a man prior to using the machines and told they were not accepting cash and so they needed to use a card.
A Cambridgeshire police spokesperson said: “Officers visited both payment machines but no skimming devices were found. However, these may have been removed after the money had been taken.
“We would urge people not to use a cash machine or car park payment facility if it looks as though it has been tampered with or a device added where the card is inserted. We would also ask people to be cautious of anyone who approaches them when using a machine.”
Anyone with information regarding these incidents or who notices suspicious activity near payment machines should call police on 101 quoting 35/82150/19 or 35/82047/19, or visit www.cambs.police.uk/report.
Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
Matthew Bradbury, CEO of Nene Park Trust, which runs Ferry Meadows, said: “We are aware of a fraudulent card skimming incident using third party mobile equipment over the weekend.
“Our rangers routinely monitor our own payment machines which are also covered by security cameras. However, we would urge our visitors to report any suspicious activity or individuals in our car park to a ranger or the Visitor Centre, as well as the police. We will never ask for car park payments to be made on a portable device.
“We will work with Cambridgeshire police while they complete their investigation.”
A spokesperson for Peterborough City Council said: “We were made aware of an incident in Car Haven Car Park and are helping police with their investigations. Our officers are continuing to monitor our car parks and we would urge anyone with information to contact police on 101.”
Police have been investigating previous reports of card skimming devices being used at ATMs in Peterborough earlier this year, including at NatWest in Lincoln Road and the Post Office in Eastfield Road.
A police spokesman said: “A thorough investigation has been conducted which explored all viable lines of enquiry, but no arrests have yet been made.”