Friday, May 15, 2009

Another case of India link to credit card fraud in UK - - 14 May 2009

London: In yet another case of international bank cards fraud, customers at a petrol pump in the city of Leicester last week found that their card details were used to withdraw money from various places across the world, including India.

The police had confirmed latest cases this week and launched an inquiry after receiving several reports victims whose details had been used to make cash withdrawals across the world.

Several people were contacted by banks over the weekend to be told that withdrawals had been made from their accounts in Australia, Canada, Ghana, India, Thailand, Malaysia and the United States.

The banks said that thousands more may have fallen victim.

Most of the victims used a Shell petrol pump on Uppingham Road in Leicester. A Shell spokesman said the company had launched an investigation into allegations of card fraud.

British security officials have been grappling with card-cloning, by which card details are surreptitiously recorded during transactions at petrol pumps and supermarkets and emailed across the globe for illegal withdrawals from ATM.

Last year, several such cases have come to light when British consumers found that money was withdrawn from their accounts from Mumbai, Chennai and other parts of India, besides other places around the world.

Petrol pumps have been the most vulnerable to such scams. In some instances, individuals working at British petrol pumps had alleged links with Tamil Tigers and disclosed customers' card details to withdraw money abroad to fund activities in Sri Lanka.

HSBC, whose customers became victims of the latest fraud, said it would closely monitor the accounts of all people who have used their card at locations where fraud had occurred.

"At a busy retail outlet like a petrol station, criminal gangs can get thousands of card details per day," Bank spokesman Tim Pie said.

Sisters Georgina and Liz Tilbrook were contacted by HSBC this week after attempts had been made to draw money from their accounts in India and Ghana. The bank declined the payments.

Resident Matthew Sibson had his account frozen by HSBC this week after a withdrawal of 100 Canadian dollars was made in Montreal. He had used his card at the petrol station's ATM machine three days earlier.

"I went into the bank on Monday lunchtime and was told that about 10 people had been in that morning with a similar problem," He said.

Others who had used the petrol pump found that their card details were used to withdraw money in Thailand, India and Ghana.

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