As scammers target Peterborough car parking machines - what to do if you’re the victim of fraud

The Peterborough Telegraph reported yesterday that two people have lost hundreds of pounds after car parking machines gobbled up their cards.

Tuesday, 19th November 2019, 11:55 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th November 2019, 3:10 pm

The incidents happened on Saturday at Ferry Meadows and Car Haven in Bishop’s Road, with one pensioner losing £700 and another losing £530.

On both occasions police said 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.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Car Haven Car Park

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.”

If you are the victim of such a fraud this is what you should do:

Report it

According to the Money Advice Service, a free and impartial money advice service set up by government, if you have are the victim of a fraud which has seen you lose money from your bank account you should:

. Contact your bank or card provider to alert them. You could be liable for all money lost before you report it

. Contact Action Fraud to report the crime. This can be done online or by calling 0300 123 2040

. You can also report financial scams, such as investment fraud, to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Debit/credit card

. If someone has used your card in a store, or online, then you are covered under the Payment Services Regulations. The regulations say you must be refunded immediately if you have had money taken from your account without your permission.

You must report the loss of your debit card, or any unauthorised payments, as soon as possible because you are liable for any losses before it has been reported, up to a maximum of £50.

. If someone makes unauthorised payments on your credit card you are covered under the Consumer Credit Act.

This means you should be able to claim your money back as you are jointly liable with your credit card issuer.

As with debit cards you might be liable for the first £50 spent if the card is lost or stolen. However, this is often waved if you report it quickly and were not negligent in any way. It is up to the card company to prove you were negligent.

Do banks reimburse stolen money?

If you have done nothing to compromise the security of your account then you should get your money back. But this is not guaranteed according to the Money Advice Service.

Refunds can be delayed if the bank has reasonable grounds to think you have been grossly negligent with the security of your account.

If the bank’s investigation proves you were negligent then you might be liable for all the losses.

Banks can also refuse a refund if you tell them about an unauthorised payment 13 months or more after it left your account.

What to do if your claim is rejected?

You can complain to the bank, and afterwards if you are still unhappy you can then take your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Anyone with information regarding the car parking machine frauds on Saturday, 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.