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TODAY FM TEAM HIT BY ATM SCAM; DJ Dempsey's staff lose cash.

Byline: NAOMI McELROY

SKIMMERS fleeced workers on Ian Dempsey's radio show out of thousands of euro after eight researchers used the same rigged cash machine.

Today FM show researcher Sara Falconer said no one realised the skimmer was attached until it was too late.

She said: "There's an ATM just round the corner from the station, we all used it all the time because it was very handy. A lot of people got skimmed, eight of us altogether over a period of a few weeks.

"I didn't realise it had happened to me straight away.

"It was only two weeks later when someone else in the office sent an email around warning that they had been skimmed, and to be extra careful at cash machines, that I realised it had happened to me. I got a statement and saw I had transactions in the Bank of Manhattan. What the skimmers did to me is apparently what they often do, take out $100 an hour and just keep taking it out until it's all gone."

Sara's bank passed the issue on to its fraud department and she should have the money back in two weeks.

But red-faced Sara said she should have known about the scam. A picture of a skimming machine is on the Today FM website. Luckily Ian's cash is still safe. Sara said: "Ian Dempsey wasn't skimmed, but Jenny Kelly was."

Gardai say criminal gangs are stealing EUR1million a month with skimming machines costing just EUR1,500.

Denis Heneghan of the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigations said: "In 2009 we had just nine recorded incidents. Last year, particularly in the later part of the year, we had a huge increase in the number of crimes."

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 24, 2011
Words:291
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