The Irish Payment Services Organisation is warning ATM users about a new scam, in which criminals are distracting cardholders in order to steal their bank cards.

The IPSO has said that fraudsters are targeting elderly and vulnerable bank customers.

In the past week, at least six cases of this latest ATM scam have resulted in losses of €30,000, according to the organisation.

It said criminals are placing devices on the machines to trap a user's bank card in the card slot.

Then they look on as an unsuspecting customer keys in their PIN to withdraw cash.

It is when the card fails to come out of the machine that the criminal steps in, purporting to help the victim retrieve their card.

Pretending to recover the card, the fraudster actually hands the victim a substitute card - to date these have been previously stolen and cancelled cards.

A victim of the scam may not realise this until they attempt to use their card again later, giving the criminal, who has seen the PIN, time to withdraw cash until the card is cancelled.

The IPSO is warning people to avoid talking to strangers at ATMs and to inform elderly or vulnerable friends and family about the scam.