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Shoppers hit in bank card cloning scam

PUBLISHED: 15:38 22 May 2008 | UPDATED: 10:25 11 August 2010

Morrisons

Morrisons

FRAUDSTERS cloned dozens of shoppers bank cards – then posted the counterfeits abroad to withdraw money. The scam known as fraud abroad has affected dozens of residents in Barking and Dagenham, including council workers. Morrison s supermarket in Wood

FRAUDSTERS cloned dozens of shoppers' bank cards - then posted the counterfeits abroad to withdraw money.

The scam known as 'fraud abroad' has affected dozens of residents in Barking and Dagenham, including council workers.

Morrison's supermarket in Wood Lane, Dagenham, is believed to be the source of the crime which has seen thousands of pounds stolen from bank accounts.

Tony Knight, 41, a postman from Dagenham, said: "They stole two thirds of my wages using cash machines in South Africa.

"I had direct debits coming out and bills to pay - I didn't know what I was going to do.

"I couldn't fill my car up with petrol, or go shopping.

"And I'm still scared to use my card now, I don't know where's safe.

"The thing is that my wife and I never shop in Morrison's, we hadn't been there for years until a month ago - we always go to Asda or Tesco."

Security controller for Morrison's, Simon Lambert, said: "We can confirm that we have been made aware of an incident at the Beacontree Heath store.

"Customers who think they may have been affected by the problem should contact their bank immediately, and speak to the fraud department."

Pakistan, India, Argentina, Egypt, and the USA are just some of the countries where this network of fraudsters appears to be operating.

It is unclear how long the massive operation has been going on, and banks including Barclays, and the Royal Bank of Scotland were among those affected.

APACS is the UK trade association which works with banks and police to ensure that fraud is prevented.

They are working with the Metropolitan police service in the investigation of this case.

A police spokesman said: "We are investigating a number of cases of credit card fraud thought to be linked to a store in Beacontree Heath."

APACS say card fraud losses for banks have increased 25 percent as fraud abroad is up £90.5million, and accounts for more than a third of all card fraud losses.

Criminals steal details from magnetic stripes on the backs of cards to make counterfeits and use pinhole cameras to record people's PIN.

They then withdraw the money in foreign countries which have yet to upgrade to chip and PIN.

Sandra Quinn, director of communications at APACS, says: "Although card fraud levels have begun to go up again due to fraud abroad, chip and PIN has proven to be an undoubted success in reducing card fraud on the UK high streets.

"And, as more countries follow our lead and upgrade to chip and PIN, the opportunities for criminals to use our stolen magnetic stripe details overseas will decrease.


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