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New 'ATM swallowed my card' scam

By Mohammed El Sadafy

ATM fraudsters have devised a new way to cheat people of their money, according to police who have made a couple of arrests lately.

According to Sharjah Police, fraudsters wait for a long time in front of the ATM feigning ignorance and claiming that their card disappeared into the machine.
They allegedly convince the person waiting for his turn of how desperate he is for cash and that he cannot wait to sort out the issue. He asks the victim for cash with a promise that he would return the money on a particular date, only to disappear with the cash and find another victim.
Colonel Mohammed Khamis Al-Othmani, Head, CID, Sharjah Police Department, Eastern Region, has warned residents using ATMs to be careful of such swindlers.
Thirteen people have been victimized so far, he added.
Col Othmani said selling fake goods in the name of brands is another popular swindling trick used by suspects. About Dh172,560 were lost in such fraud, he added.
In the latest episode reported to cops, an Arab national cheated two ATM users of Dh400 each by claiming the card he inserted into the machine refused to come out and that he was in dire straits. He convinced the two victims to part with Dh400 each.
The suspect was arrested shortly thereafter by Sharjah Police after the victims identified them. He had committed a number of similar crimes in Khorfakkan and Kalba’a, said police.
Col Othmani called on residents to be cautious and urged public not to fall for pathetic stories.