Villagers in West Kingsdown have spoken out over fears their bank cards have been cloned by scammers.

Dozens of residents say their cards have been blocked in the past few weeks due to suspicious activity that has happened after they used either the ATM near the Co-Op in Hever Road or the cashpoint at the nearby Texaco garage.

Rebecca Milton, of London Road, said her husband Steve got stung and had to have his card stopped.

She said: "It's insane, so many people are being affected. It seems like over half the village.

"Steve only found out because his bank got in touch. He had to wait a few days but we are just grateful they spotted it.

"I've lived here three years and not experienced this but now it seems like the problem is affecting everybody."

People have been posting on Facebook groups about the two cash machines seemingly being targeted by criminals, with one person saying they had lost £300 through a fraudulent transaction.

Another victim said: "I was done and so was a friend of mine and her hubby too. We think it may be the ATM at the Co-Op as this has been used by all three of us!"

An employee at the Co-Op said they had been made aware of the issues and an investigation was under way.

He said: "We are aware as many people have told us. It is not clear how serious or to what scale the problem is, but the machine close to us has been having problems recently. The police are aware."

The manager at Texaco said he too was aware of problems, but said there had been no reported issues about his garage.

He said: "We have lots of regulars who have told us about the cards being cloned and being used in India, but nothing about us here."

Kent Police said they have had a report of card cloning after using the cash machine in Hever road. 

A spokesman said a person alleged their card had been cloned, and the matter has now been referred to the national fruad reporting centre, Action Fraud. 

Police have also offered advice for residents regarding fraud.

A spokesman said: 

  • Always cover the cash machine’s keypad as you enter your PIN number.
  • If you insert your card and it appears to be retained or jammed, check the fascia and notify the bank or your service provider immediately.
  • Check your account regularly and inform your bank if your account shows any transactions you didn’t make.
  • If you see any suspicious behaviour around cash machines call 101, or 999 if a crime is in progress.