TIM DREW: Be careful to avoid fraudsters when withdrawing money at cash machines over the summer

As we enter the holiday season, more of us will be withdrawing money from cash machines and, when we do, must bear in mind the potential for card fraud, particularly from cash machines located at shops, railway stations and cafés.

Much of this is attributable to thieves who crowd victims at cash machines to read their PIN and then use distraction techniques to steal the cards, but a variety of devices are also being used by fraudsters, such as cash traps and spring traps which retain the card, as well as skimmers and hidden cameras which capture card data.

Financial Fraud Action UK advises that you stand close to the cash machine and shield the keypad when entering your PIN, and to report immediately to your card company if your card is retained.

Also, if you notice someone crowding or watching you, cancel the transaction and go to another machine; do not accept help from seemingly well-meaning strangers, and never allow yourself to be distracted.

Lastly, remember that the chances of being defrauded are reduced if you avoid using cash machines at weekends, as this is when the vast majority of the devices are installed.

Just as a reminder, the Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Federation requests that, when you call 101 or 999 to report a crime, you mention your membership of Neighbourhood Watch.

This will enable the police call centres to collate information on the assistance contributed by Neighbourhood Watch members towards reducing crime.

• The Salvington Neighbourhood Panel will meet at the New Life Church, 10 Greenland Road, between 7pm and 8pm on Tuesday, June 16, and PCSO Shauna Bowen hosts her surgery between 11.30am and 12.30pm at Findon Valley Library, Lime Tree Avenue.

And a word of thanks, and apology, to Mark Dodgson, of The British Antique Dealers’ Association, who kindly pointed out my incorrect reference in my column of May 28, to his association as The British Art Dealers’ Association.