The Lebanese Loop

Classification Status


Urban Legend   False  
Chain Mail




Related to  
"Dim bulb" Rating (Click here for details)  

UPDATE: I've changed this from True to Unknown as there appears to be some dispute as to whether this is a real scam. It appear to be so, in the US, however in the UK the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has changed their stance on this and are now suggesting it is a hoax (I spent over an hour with them on the phone  trying to get a sensible answer out of them as to why they were now calling it a hoax, when before they were treating it as a genuine scam). 

Certainly the evidence in the US is very indicative that this is a tried and trusted scam and therefore for those that live in the US it should be considered as at least partially true, but in the UK it is probably false. If you want the latest findings from the ACPO then you can e-mail them at:

This is an urban legend and a chain e-mail which has been circulating on the Internet for several years. As with some Urban Legends, there is a grain of truth hidden somewhere in the concocted story. This UL follows the usual rules to make it timeless, no way to verify the facts, no names, no dates, no places mentioned, it is left for you to fill in the blanks and jump to the conclusion that it is 'all' true.

This is a recent note indicating a 'alleged new scam'. In fact this is a relatively 'old' scam (known as the Lebanese Loop) that has been seen in the US and elsewhere. This latest version claims to be from the Halifax Building Society. However, there is no such warning on the Halifax web site, so someone is just using the Halifax name to try and add some credence to this rare scam so that recipients will be more willing to send it on.

The latest  ATM   scam  involves thieves putting a thin, clear, rigid plastic 'sleeve' into the ATM  card slot. When you insert your card, the machine can't read the strip, so  it keeps asking you to re-enter your PIN number.

Meanwhile, someone behind you  watches as you tap in your number. Eventually you give up, thinking the machine has swallowed your card and you walk away. The thieves then remove the plastic sleeve complete with card, and empty  your account. The way to avoid this is to run your finger along the card slot before you put your card  in. The sleeve has a couple of tiny prongs that the thieves need to get the sleeve out of the slot, and you'll  be  able to feel them.  The police would like as many people as possible to be aware of  this scam, so pass this on to your friends.

More information can be found here:

If you receive a message about this urban legend then please ignore it and don't pass it on as this only serves to propagate it.

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