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Card cloning: Police issue CCTV pictures

PUBLISHED: 13:10 08 October 2008 | UPDATED: 14:41 14 July 2010

CCTV images released today by police in connection with a card cloning incident at Wymondham.

CCTV images released today by police in connection with a card cloning incident at Wymondham.

POLICE have issued pictures of people they want to talk to after a building society customer became the victim of a card cloning device at a cash point opposite Norfolk police headquarters in Wymondham.

CCTV images released today

POLICE have issued pictures of people they want to talk to after a building society customer became the victim of a card cloning device at a cash point opposite Norfolk police headquarters in Wymondham.

Cynthia Skeet had £900 taken out of her Nationwide account after using a cash machine outside Waitrose in Wymondham.

She discovered her card had been “skimmed” after finding that she did not have sufficient funds in her account to make a withdrawal.

Mrs Skeet said she last used her card at a cash machine outside Waitrose last Friday. After trying unsuccessfully to withdraw money from her account on Monday, she went into her Nationwide branch in Wymondham and was told that £300 had been taken out of her account on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

CCTV images released today by police in connection with a card cloning incident at Wymondham.

Nationwide staff immediately stopped Mrs Skeet's card and she has been told she will get a full refund.

“When I realised what had happened my eyes filled up and I had a sickening feeling in my stomach,” she said.

“When I was in Nationwide I found out that I wasn't the only one this had happened to. I was the third customer. The young girl I saw put it down to the cash machines at Waitrose. Everyone had clarified that this was the last place where they had use their cards.”

She added: “I just want to make people aware of this and to encourage them to check their accounts regularly. I know this happens all over the place, but the irony of it is that this was just opposite the police headquarters.”

Police have issued CCTV stills of people they wish to speak to and are investigating a number of complaints from victims reporting that their details have been cloned. They also want to trace the owners of the vehicles on the stills.

Sgt Chris Claydon said: “We are particularly keen to hear from people who saw anything suspicious near to Waitrose at around 7.30am on Friday morning and 7pm on Saturday evening.

“This type of crime is very uncommon in Wymondham, and our team frequently check the machines around town in their normal patrols anyway. If you ever see anything suspicious on these machines please report it straight away to the police.”

Waitrose Wymondham branch manger Steve Dowall said: “While the security of the cash machines are the responsibility of the banks concerned, we did alert the police of this matter and are supporting them with their inquiries.”

Anyone who recognises these people or who has any information about this incident should contact Sgt Chris Clayton at Wymondham Police Station on 0845 4564567. Alternatively information can be passed to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Norfolk police offer this advice:

Cash card cloning is on the increase nationally where skimming devices have been attached to ATMs. Most incidents take place at supermarket ATMs. With the advent of chip and PIN cards it is now very difficult to use cloned cards for retail sales. However, it is still possible to use them to obtain cash from ATMs.

The crime is committed by attaching electronic skimming devices over the card slot on ATMs. The device will then read card details from the magnetic strip on cards inserted into the machine. In order to clone your card the criminal then needs your PIN. This is either obtained by means of a pin-hole camera which is also attached to the ATM (above or to the side of the key-pad) or by the criminal “shoulder surfing” - standing near you and memorising your PIN or entering it onto a mobile phone. The criminals who commit this crime will be nearby, often in a car overlooking the ATM, hence supermarkets being a favourite venue for this crime.

The best defence is to check the ATM carefully before using it and to shield your hand when entering your PIN. Some skimming devices are very sophisticated and can be difficult to spot. If in doubt report it.

Further information is available at http://www.cardwatch.org.uk/

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