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The Kind Of Cloning That Doesn’t Help Anybody


I was idly flicking through the recent transactions on my bank account the other night when I saw a few items I didn't recognise. It seemed that I'd been to Tesco four times over the previous 2 days and had spent around £60 on each occasion. Since I haven't actually stepped foot inside any Tesco store for about a year, this was clearly wrong.

I then realised that in fact someone had managed to clone my card and was spending my money! The fact that it was my debit card and therefore taking money directly out of my current account meant that, unlike a credit card where there's a few weeks delay where you can sort these things out, the money had already gone from my account!

Naturally I called my bank and told them what happened. In fact, they were really good, told me they'd pass the details to their fraud department, stop my card and send me a new one. The next day I looked at my statement again and spotted another 2 transactions (at the same Tesco and each for around £60) that must have gone through before they stopped the card. Another phone call to the bank and they were added to the fraud list. So effectively I was out of pocket by £360 by someone who'd managed to copy my debit card details.

Thing is, I'm ultra-cautious with my debit card. If I'm not sure about it I'll use my credit card (for the time delay effect I mentioned above) so it's a mystery to me how they managed to skim it (which I'm assuming is what they did). Plus, I thought Chip & Pin was supposed to stop all this sort of thing. So much for that.

Luckily, my bank refunded me the money with no questions a couple of days later, so kudos to them! But for all those nay-sayers who say worrying about card skimming is just a lie spread by the banks to make you scared and that it can never happen to you, it most certainly can. If it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.

I wonder if they bought anything nice from Tesco. Maybe some of those tasty flapjacks. Flapjacks are nice! 

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Creator of John's Background Switcher. Scotsman, footballer, photographer, dog owner, risk taker, heart breaker, nice guy. Some of those are lies.

6 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. That stinks! 🙁 Still, at least your bank were helpful which isn’t always the case, especially since Chip & PIN came in. Only earlier this week I caught a bit of Watchdog which was about a woman whose card was skimmed and the Alliance & Leicester refused to pay her any compensation.

    I know of someone who is ultra-careful and has had their identity stolen twice! It’s very worrying.


  2. Yeah, I saw that on Watchdog, apparently the bank thought it was the woman’s fault! Luckily mine didn’t ask any questions. The irony? It’s the same bank!


  3. The Alliance and Leicester no less… I was surprised how that woman got such different treatment than me – although I did miss the start of the piece so I don’t actually know what happened to her!


  4. Hi there. My Chip and Pin card can still be used for regular transactions on the old systems. I was in Maplins in Holborn High London and saw they still use the old system.

    Perhaps your fraudulent shopping transactions were done on an old system — without chip and pin?

    I saw the Watchdog programme too, and the bank were not giving a refund because the payment was carried out with the pin.


  5. Yeah you’re right, they must have picked a place where they had the old system.

    Ah, that’s the part of Watchdog I missed! I guess the bank reckoned they hadn’t been careful enough keeping the PIN secret. Sounds a bit unfair since fraud is fraud which is a crime and it’s not the innocent bank account holder who’s committing that crime…


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