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Last Updated: Friday, 17 December 2004, 12:12 GMT
Barclays' new ATM to beat fraud
The new anti-skimming device
The new "anti-skimming" card slot
A High Street bank is trialling a new-style cash machine in an attempt to crack down on cash machine fraud.

Cash machine fraud is a growing menace for banks and consumers, netting fraudsters more than 100m a year.

The machine makes it difficult for fraudsters to attach "cloning" devices, which steal card details, to ATMs.

Barclays has been trialling the new machines in London since November and will roll out the machines nationwide, if they prove to be successful.

Banking customers are increasingly under threat from criminal gangs, who fit portable card readers, known as skimming devices, and, in some instances, pin-hole cameras to cash machines.

A skimming machine installed on a Barclays machine
A skimming machine installed on a Barclays machine

This enables them to steal card details, create counterfeit cards and raid bank accounts.

The new-style machines make it more difficult to attach cloning devices, as there is a convex-shaped cover over the card slot.

Meanwhile, electronic sensors fitted inside the card slot are able to tell if anything other than a valid card is being inserted.

The machine shuts down if it notices anything unusual.

Barclays said that devices such as these have virtually eradicated ATM fraud for banks in Europe.

"As consumers withdrew 1.3bn from ATMs last Christmas, our advice to people this year is to stay vigilant when withdrawing cash," said Barnaby Davis, head of ATMs at Barclays.

Consumers are advised to shield their pin numbers from others and alert the police if they think an ATM has been tampered with.

They are also advised to regularly check their statements to detect signs of fraud.

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