Robberies and cash thefts at Wigan borough’s holes in the wall were the highest for a decade, new figures have revealed.
Eighteen such snatches were reported across the borough in 2017, the most disturbing total since 2007.
Freedom of Information Act checks by MoneySuperMarket.com have also shown that there were 112 similar attacks on bank and building society customers in Wigan over the past 10 years, including two this year.
Nearly 1,500 robberies and thefts have taken place at cashpoints in Greater Manchester, over the same period, researchers have found.
Kevin Pratt, consumer affairs expert at MoneySuperMarket, commented: “Cash is still king as far as many criminals are concerned, and ATMs are their ideal hunting ground.
“This police data highlights the importance of being vigilant and cautious when using an ATM, even in a quiet market town where you might not expect to encounter a problem.
“The rise of contactless payments via credit and debit cards and electronic devices means ATM usage generally is falling, which is why we’re hearing about dozens being closed each month.
“But our research suggests Brits typically make 1.5 cash payments a day each, so ATMs will continue to play an important part in British life for the foreseeable future – and the crime associated with them is likely to continue.
“If someone robs your cash or steals your card, you should immediately report it to the police. Report a stolen credit or debit card and cancel it immediately, and keep an eye out for fraudulent transactions on your account.”
While the figures for Greater Manchester remain high, vigilance would appear to be be one of the greatest defences to would-be thieves.
Two years ago, Orrell pensioner Eileen McCartney was targeted by scammers as she attempted to withdraw money from the NatWest Bank in Wigan.
Con artists, including three men and a woman, tried to divert her attention by claiming that she dropped a £20 note near the ATM, as her cash card was being ejected.
But the then-72-year-old had seen a similar scam being carried out on TV and was immediately wary
One of the tricksters had swapped her cash card for a fake, while her attention was briefly caught.
She noticed the bogus card was not hers and managed to snatch her actual one back from the man, before reporting the incident to police.