Skimmer, deuxième partie

Previously on Skimmer: on Sunday, your protagonist discovered a suspicious-looking whirring bezel stuck on the hacked-up front of an RBS cash machine and reported it to the operators. On Monday, he observed the same cash machine, now out of order, but continuing to sport the peculiar modification. And now, the continuation …

This evening (Tuesday), I returned to reconnoitre the ATM in question. It’s now back in service, with the funny bezel still in place.

I imagine two possibilities:

1. There is a skimmer, but RBS couldn’t spot it.
2. RBS actually fitted a replacement bezel to their cashpoint by hacking it up with a Stanley knife.

So which is it? Which kind of incompetence?

If banks can’t spot skimmers, then we’re all screwed. On the other hand, if their machines look like they’ve been nobbled even when they haven’t, how is anyone ever supposed to spot a dodgy one? There’s no good answer to this conundrum.

Because a number of people have asked: it’s the ATM on the right in front of Tesco Surrey Quays.


  1. Pablo Brasero

    Wrote at 2014-10-07 13:23 UTC using Firefox 34.0 on Mac OS X:

    I spotted an identical dodgy bezel in an HSBC machine yesterday. Also, the surrounding surface was significantly more damaged than the one you show.

    I went in and reported it, but the person who attended me seemed to act… say like I was a child asking for verbal confirmation of the existence of Father Christmas. Smile, smile, yes, yes, sure, sure, no display of any concern whatsoever and, I felt, no wish of having members of the public reporting anything at all.

    Today I walked past the same machine, and nothing had changed. This time I phoned HSBC, and got exactly the same treatment.

    I have to assume the thing is not a skimmer, but it does raises two questions:

    1. As you mention: how can we possibly know what is a skimmer and what isn’t?
    2. Why do HSBC staff treat this by acting like they are hearing a complaint from a child?