THE National Police have arrested two people in Zamora for crimes against property after criminal groups were found to be using devices called cash grabber traps, a homemade mechanism used on ATM machines that blocks cash from being dispensed to the customer but is stored in the trap instead.
The ATM dispenser then detects the issue and crashes, showing an error message on screen leaving the customer thinking that the machine is not working correctly. The criminals then return to collect the cash.
The detainees were found by National Police to be part of a criminal group that has used this mechanism to steal money from customers in ATMs in Madrid, San Vicente del Raspeig in Alicante, Albacete and Teruel.
A woman, 41 and a man, 39, both Romanian, were apprehended by Police in their car along with the cash grabber traps, forged credit cards and tools to install the traps.
This type of crime is similar to the so-called Lebanese loop scam, which traps the credit cards which are later collected and cloned.
In both cases, the National Police recommend that customers notify the bank or Police if they observe any anomalies when using ATMs, especially if cash or credit cards are blocked.
The pair have a history of criminal offences including theft and assault as well as offences against property and are said to be part of a criminal gang that has employed these tactics in numerous other provinces throughout Spain.