DOZENS of people say they have been victims of bank-card fraud after using the same petrol-station cash machine.
The ATM at the Shell garage on the Saltings Roundabout in Shoreham Beach has been linked to a number of suspected card-cloning incidents.
Customers have reported seeing large cash withdrawals in America appear on their statements after using the machine.
Shoreham Beach resident Laura Raymond and her son Jon were both targeted after using the machine over the weekend.
Laura said four of her friends and neighbours had also been victims after using the same ATM, with similar attempts made to withdraw cash in the USA.
“This cash point needs closing immediately,” she said.
“It has been a problem in the past. They are not getting the money as banks are vigilant, but it is a darn nuisance and so much hassle having to wait for a new card to arrive.”
Chairman of Shoreham Beach residents association Joss Loader, herself a past victim of the crime, said there seemed to have been an unusually high number of card-cloning incidents in the area.
She said it was inconvenient for those without alternative cards, and could really worry people, particularly the elderly.
“People obviously need to be vigilant and keep their eyes open for anything that looks unusual when using the machines and to advise the police and banks if they notice anything suspicious,” she said.
Claire carpenter used the same machine a week ago, only to find on Tuesday that three withdrawals had been made in Brooklyn, USA, totalling around £500.
She said she had called her bank who had told her it looked as if a skimming device had been used at an ATM, and promised to refund the money by 6pm the same day.
Gareth Horton said his family had also fallen foul of the same scam.
“My wife’s card was declined at the garage which seemed odd since it was only a short time after payday,” he said.
“We checked the account by phone and were told our bank had stopped our cards due to two erroneous transactions in the US. One small amount was withdrawn followed by a much larger withdrawal of several hundred pounds.
“Clearly, since we were both trying to use our cards in West Sussex, the bank’s fraud-prevention system kicked into gear and stopped the account.
“We pretty much only use that ATM, which is how the bank believe our cards were cloned. Several more of our friends had similar experiences, all leading back to that ATM.”
A spokesman for the company that operates the machine, Cash Machine Ltd, said: “We treat all card-cloning incidents very seriously, and are currently investigating the problem thoroughly.”
Detective Inspector Alan Pack of Sussex Police urged anyone who thought they had been a victim to contact police. He said: “Make sure there is nothing out of the ordinary at a machine you use and cover your hand when you are inputting your PIN so that people cannot copy it and get into your account.”