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New ATM selfie stick scam

The Guardian reports that thieves are now taking pictures of "themselves" using selfie sticks while you're using an ATM or ticket machine, but what they are really doing is recording your PIN. Then they follow you and plan to steal your purse or pickpocket you to get your card. Here's a link to the whole article, which is mostly about Barcelona petty crime. This new scam is reported happening in Copenhagen.

Posted by
23437 posts

Would appreciate if one of the British posters would give a background on the Guardian. This is second "scare" article from the Guardian that has recently be been posted on this site. Is that type of article common with the Guardian. Have no idea about the Guardian's "orientation."

PS -- I had to look hard to find the reference to the "selfie stick scam." And the supposedly "selfie stick scam" had nothing to do with an ATM. It was ticket machine and a credit card. And the Guardian didn't report it. It was comment from a reader. But that is not the point of the article. Just a general discussion of pickpocketing and general theft problems in Barcelona. A little over the top. The headline is more than a little misleading. Fake news ???

Posted by
54 posts

I'm not British, but am a longtime reader of the Guardian, since the old days when it was the Manchester Guardian. It was always an excellent source of British and world news, while leaning to the left politically. Since 2015/6, when Alan Rusbridger left as editor, it has very quickly become more of a tabloid paper, with many sensational headlines. The facts in this story may well be true, but the lurid presentation is off-putting. I stopped reading The Guardian about a year ago when I couldn't take anymore.

Posted by
23437 posts

That is somewhat the feeling I received from the two recently referenced articles from the Guardian. We have been to Barcelona four times over the past ten years or so -- most recently two years ago -- and have never had a problem or seen any of the problems referenced in the article. Doesn't mean that the problems don't exist, just question how wide spread or frequent. With our experience we probably are a little more careful than the average tourist. On our last trip we thought the police present on Las Ramblas was very high. They seemed to be everywhere. So I just don't know how to react to that article. Those things can happen but is it 8 out of 10, or 1 out of 10. Either way if you are the one it is a big problem. On the other hand, maybe the majority of the people don't have a problem. Given how we use the ATM, the selfie stick is not a problem. They would have to be very close and very obvious or using a phone with a telephoto lens.

Posted by
1288 posts

The Guardian (aka The Grauniad) is one of only two decent national newspapers left in England. The other is The Daily Telegraph (aka The Torygraph). They have very different political stances. I think you can trust either, at least as much as you can any news source, provided you recognise the political/social stories reflect the editorial line. The Guardian is liberal, pro-EU and sort of republican (in a British sense, definitely not American capital R). The Telegraph is conservative, EU-sceptic and pro-monarchy, but doesn't like Mr Trump either. They both like cricket, which in the end is the only criteria for judging someone that matters. Sadly both are losing a lot of sales, as are most newspapers, to the fake news, social media world.

Posted by
33141 posts

Also, look at the calendar.

This time of the year is generally referred to as the "silly season". Less politics than normal therefore all news outlets hunt around for something to fill the paper or newscast. Wait a month and real news will be back.

There was a story on my local news tonight of a girl who collects giraffes. Yup.

Posted by
2349 posts

Wasn't the girl who collects giraffes a Python skit? Not to be confused with my favorite Bob and Ray skit, the man who collects odd shaped vegetables.

Posted by
106 posts

You should always obscure anyone else's view of the keypad at the ATM. Do it as a practice at home, and you won't need to worry about it abroad.

Almost every scam going happens in the US too. Engage your brain, people!

Posted by
4535 posts

Or keep your ATM card (and other cards and money) safely secured - then you don't have to worry about a pickpocket knowing your PIN anyway...

Posted by
32247 posts

I normally stand in front of ATM's and ticket machines and cover the keypad with my hand, so the only view the scammer will see is my backside.

Posted by
1 posts

I would like to tell about ATM Scam that when we enter ATM, then we should take care of all the places. ATM PIN/password should be kept to itself. when we put an ATM PIN then it should be cautious of don't have any recording camera. use the Scampedia App to avoid such fraud and for more information on fraud.

Posted by
3205 posts

I always use an ATM that is inside the bank, or inside a glass door in the area in front of the bank.
You are a little less likely to be robbed in there rather than out on the street.
Also, never use an ATM when the bank is closed.
If the machine eats your card, at least there will be someone inside the bank to talk to, though they may not be able to get your card back for you.
The machine in Anghiari Italy did not give my friend the money it said it did; and we went inside and spoke to the bank employee.
He opened up the ATM machine from inside, counted all the money, and determined that the transaction had not gone through, though the printout said it had.
Customer service!

Posted by
1329 posts

I'm American, but I read the Guardian often. Their coverage of of news, politics, and sport is excellent, from a slightly left wing bias. But, once you get outside of the 'hard news' they seem to post articles from any freelancer or blogger, They've had a few of, 'My brother told me that his cousin had this happen to him.' I found a Guardian mention of the 'sleeping gas' urban legend the last time that came up on this forum.

But, yes, cover the keyboard anytime you're using an ATM. Every month or so, I read about skimmers being found at ATMs in Chicago, often inside free standing ATMS located inside a Walgreens or CVS, where there's a chance of employee involvement with the skimming scam.