A QUICK-THINKING Huddersfield couple thwarted a bid by thieves to plunder cash from people's banks accounts.
A report in the Examiner about a device used by thieves stuck in 51-year-old Beverley Sutcliffe's mind when she tried to get money out of a machine in the town centre.
She had been on a night out with husband Bill and decided to get some cash from the Nat West branch in Market Place at 11.30pm last Friday.
The Salendine Nook couple put their card in - but nothing happened.
Beverley immediately recalled a story in the Examiner two months ago about so-called Lebanese Loops.
These are home-made devices which thieves slip into the card slot in cash machines.
They then pretend to help when the victim has trouble getting money and try to trick the victim into letting slip their Pin number.
When the victim believes the machine has "eaten" the card and goes away, the thief retrieves the loop and the card - then taps the number in and steals from the victim's account.
The machine has been unable to "read" the card because it has been sitting on the loop.
Beverley, a practice nurse, said: "There didn't seem to be anyone around at first, but I was very suspicious.
"The slot on the front of the machine felt different to the one next to it. I was sure something was wrong with it."
Bill, a lecturer, discovered black tape next to the slot. He scraped it off, pulled it and the device came out of the slot, along with the couple's card.
It was only then the couple realised they were being watched.
Beverley said: "The loop dropped to the ground and when we bent down to pick it up, a blue Vauxhall Nova drove away.
"The driver was staring at us, so we think he had been watching us all the time."
The couple took the device to Huddersfield police station.
Sgt Tim O'Sullivan, of Huddersfield police, said: "The couple did an excellent job in retrieving it and bringing it to us.
"If you put your card in a machine and it does not seem to work then be very suspicious.
"If anyone tries to give you advice do not - in any circumstances - put your Pin number in while they are watching."
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