Got this from an email.
Personally, I have witnessed this at Maybank Uptown P.J.
There was a couple (man and woman) who looks very middle eastern. I was queuing up for the ATM. It was crowded at around 8pm. They were doing almost the same thing as what was described below.
After a failed attempt, they walked away.
They usually do their operations after office hours and I find that Maybank do not employ security guard after office hours.
This afternoon around 5:30 pm I was at Queensbay Mall Penang, doing some financial payments (credit card, mobile and etc). I went to the 1st floor Maybank ATM to withdraw some money.
As the ATM was finalizing my payment, someone tapped me on the shoulder. Naturally I turned around, and there was this stocky Middle Eastern man (around 5 ft. 2 in., fair complexion), pointing to some money on the floor (around RM30+, there were 3-10 ringgit and several 1 ringgit notes).
He said “ I saw you drop your money just now.”
Coincidently today I have some bundled spare notes in my shirt pocket. So I picked up the ringgits on the floor. Suddenly a lady also of Middle Eastern descent – shoulder length curly hair, fair complexion, 5 ft. 3 in., said to me “It’s my money!”
Then the man told her, “No, I saw him dropping it – while pointing to me.”
Instantly I checked my shirt pocket, with a quick glance I felt and saw my bundle of spare notes was intact. Without any hesitation, I passed the money to the lady and said, “It’s your money, not mine.”
Within split second, I turned back to the ATM and saw a male person's hand (did not see the face) was approaching for my ATM card that the machine automatically return upon finishing a transaction. Out of natural instinct, I slapped on the wrist of the person’s hand that was trying to take my ATM card. And the person quickly walked off, I did not have a chance to look at the face as I was waiting for the ATM to dispense out my RM1,500.
All this happened within 2-3 seconds. When I finally got my cash and turned around, the Middle Eastern man and woman have disappeared including the taller male person who was trying to take my ATM card and most possibly my cash. I quickly went down the escalator to see where they have gone, I managed to catch a glimpse of the Middle Eastern lady as she was going down the escalator but then she also quickly vanished.
If I had been slightly doubtful of my own cash in my shirt pocket OR being greedy, I would most likely had my RM1,500 stolen. The job of the Middle Eastern man and lady was to create a diversion and confusion, while another person was responsible to snatch the cash out of the machine while I was not looking.
This could happen in any mall and there were some people withdrawing from few other machines as well. So it was not a totally secluded condition. I firmly believed they were not the only group in Penang or Malaysia.
Points to be on high alert:
1. If somebody taps your shoulder while you are withdrawing from the ATM, make sure you are mindful of your surroundings and especially focus on taking your money first.
2. Their usual trick is to create confusion. Focus on what you are doing.
3. Best is to have a friend with you when you go to the ATM.
Please let everyone you know of this incident. Especially now when nearing the festive seasons, they are preying on your bonus and salary!