FOUR cashpoints have been hacked in Southend’s town centre, as police warn shoppers to protect bank cards.

The Southend Community Policing Team are urging people to take care when withdrawing money from ATMs following the discovery of “Lebanese Loops” in four cash machines across the town centre on Friday night.

The device was found on an ATM cash machine at WHSmith High Street Southend, as well as three other cash machines in the town centre on Friday night.

Police have not revealed which three other machines were affected, or how much money was taken.

A spokesman for the police said: “A sign of an ATM hack is ‘loose slot’. So, in case the slot appears wobbly or loose, it indicates the presence of a ‘Lebanese Loop’, which is a small plastic device with a barb that holds your card or your cash back in the machine.

“You may think the machine has swallowed your card or it has been stuck.”

Southend resident Mollie Edgington was one of those affected by the machine at the WHSmith store on Friday.

She wrote on Facebook: “One of the members of staff was lovely offering to pay for my children’s dinner that I withdrew the money for.

“But luckily the street rangers managed to help and get my money back, which was stuck on something very sticky, it was hard to even remove the money because what the morons did to the machine.

“Wasn’t impressed in the slightest.”

The spokesman added that the loops do not compromise card details, but keep the card and cash from coming out of the machine.

Police have urged people to report any signs of concern at cash machines in the Southend area.

Contact police on 101 or online at