Woman ‘devastated’ after ATM scam

A Limavady woman has spoken of her horror after she discovered her bank account had been emptied when she was targeted in an ATM scam in the town.

Ann-Marie Harkin said she only discovered what had happened on Monday morning when she stopped to get diesel.

The mum-of-four explained she had stopped for fuel and when she went into the shop to pay, she was told her card had been declined. She went outside to check her balance at a bank machine, only to discover she had “insufficient funds”.

“I knew I had a substantial amount of money in my account, so when ‘insufficient funds’ came up I thought, ‘seriously?’”

The woman visited her bank where she was told several transactions had been made in America using her card details.

“I was devastated,” said Ann-Marie, who explained the last time she had used her card was on Saturday evening at an ATM on Lower Main Street in Limavady. Ulster Bank told me the transactions were made in New York. I was so shocked because you never expect someone to clean out your entire account.”

Ann-Marie said she has been told her money will be refunded.

Police in Limavady have also said they received a report on Sunday from a concerned member of the public after their bank highlighted a fraudulent attempt to withdraw funds from their account.

A PSNI spokesperson said: “The withdrawal attempt had originated abroad and was stopped by the bank concerned. The member of the public reported the matter to police along with details of local ATMs they had used. Officers made checks at the relevant bank machines to ensure no skimming devices were present. None were detected and no further reports of similar activity were received.”

Inspector Donna Bowden said: “Look out for anything unusual on the machine. Always cover your PIN with one hand while entering it. If you see anything suspicious or unusual, please contact police straight away.”

A spokesperson for Ulster Bank said all cases of fraud are thoroughly investigated by the bank, and advised all customers to be vigilant when using any ATM.