A blog about life in London

Kilburn High Road Beware of Bank Card Skimmers!

Kilburn High Road Beware of Bank Card Skimmers!

On Sunday evening at around 10.30pm I became a victim of crime… that was how the policeman described it. A victim of crime!

Just like I have done probably a 100 plus times over the past 4 years, I tried to withdraw some money from the NatWest cash dispenser on Kilburn High Road. I popped my card into the slot, typed in my card number. I even carefully placed my hand over the key pad as I typed my pin number; a habit I religiously follow whenever I withdraw money. The machine made some funny noises, followed by a notice on the screen appearing which said OUT Of ORDER… no worries I thought, I will use one of the other 2 machines…

All I needed was for my bank card to swiftly pop out of the machine and back into my hand! No such luck. For about 2 minutes the machine made noises like it was trying to push the card back out. At this stage a bad… a very bad feeling came over me. I was suspicious that something dodgy was happening.

I took a much closer look at the slot which I put my bank card into and I noticed some glue around one of the edges… like super glue or another strong bonding agent. It was obvious that something criminal was going on, I was about to be scammed. I wasn’t going to let that happen easily though.

I tried for about 5 minutes to rip off the skimming device, but it was stuck solid. I had only nipped out to the bank, I never had my mobile phone with me. I walked down the street a bit, and waited, hoping the scumbag came back to collect the skimming device so I could confront them. I’m a nice guy, but try to steal my money and I will bite your nose or ear off if I have too!

I rushed home, went online found the 24 hour emergency number for NatWest, then called them to explain the situation and my fears. As I was waiting for my call to be answered I logged onto my account online and £230 had been withdrawn from my account. All in the space of 15 minutes from the time my card went into the bank machine.

Would you believe it. A cash terminal right outside a bank on Kilburn High Road, which is watched over by not only the banks own CCTV, but countless Police CCTV cameras!

Thankfully victims of frauds like this get their money back from the bank. In fact I was refunded the £230 pounds the very next day. There is more, the crooks also spent £31.50 in Tescos… which they bank are trying to claim is my fault, according to the letter they sent me today. How they figured that out, I don’t know. That is something I will have to sort out tomorrow!

Hopefully the police will make an effort to catch the criminals. I would imagine there is also CCTV in the Tescos. In fact London is crawling with CCTV cameras. The police  officer dealing with the case has already contacted me and hopefully when they review the footage from the cameras, they will be on step closer to catching the crook. I will hopefully be in court one of these days to see them being sent to prison!

I wonder how many times these particular scumbags, the complete and utter lowlifes who skimmed my card, have already did this and how many more times they will do it, until they are caught. If they are ever caught.

From now on I will be closely inspecting every bank machine I use: the skimming devices are really difficult to spot, especially at night when it’s dark. The only way I could tell was when I had a really close look and noticed a few specks of glue around one of the edges. I will also be carrying my mobile phone on me every single time I go out and the banks emergency number is now stored in my contacts. If this situation ever arises again I will immediately call the bank and have my card cancelled before the crooks have a chance to withdraw money from my account.


If these bank card skimming crooks can successfully place a device on a bank machine, right outside a bank on a busy road,  like Kilburn High Road, which is covered in CCTV cameras, where can they not do it! Beware folks… be very aware!

As my friend said, ‘F***king Bastards’ or my neighbour ‘Cheeky bastards’ I can only agree…