About a year ago, a new form of crime appeared in central Budapest (sometimes referred to as the party district), where criminals targeted people using cash machines. In all cases, victims were foreigners visiting clubs or pubs. The offenders approached their victims near ATMs in district 7 and offered their “help” to withdraw cash. Sometimes they claimed that if the language of the machine is set to Hungarian it will not deduct a transaction fee. In other cases, the criminals said that the ATM malfunctioned, escorted the distracted victim to another machine and eventually took the cash left in the original ATM themselves. The damage caused by each offense varied from 20 euros to over one thousand euros.
The offenses are being investigated by the 7th District Police Station of the Budapest Metropolitan Police. 22 suspects of the same circle of perpetrators have been questioned for theft since the end of 2022. Although the number of offenses have dropped significantly, such cases still happen.
The Budapest Metropolitan Police call for awareness when withdrawing cash from ATMs. Should you be targeted by this type of crime please call 112.