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Fraudsters use overhead cameras to steal your Pin

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by Kay Mitchell

According to Apacs, the bank payments association, fraudsters are using overhead cameras in garage and shop ceilings to steal bank and credit card Pins. The cameras are usually installed into the shop ceiling using corrupt employees or persuading individuals to help them.

This method is becoming so widespread that Apacs is linking up with the Petroleum Industry Association to launch a National Card Fraud Prevention Campaign. From today for 7 days, those paying by card at petrol stations throughout the UK will be given a small advice card warning them of the risks of fraud and reminding them to be on their guard.

Furthermore, the advice cards also warn customers not to let their card out of sight when carrying out a transaction and to check to see if there is anything strange about the chip and Pin terminal they are using.

It is recommended that consumers shield their Pin with their free hand when making a transaction so that in the event of any pinhole cameras above your head, this will prevent criminals from jotting down your number. They then use a card cloned from details stolen from your card’s magnetic strip to take advantage of the Pin.

The chip and Pin system can sometimes make these cards difficult to use in the UK so fraudsters have been known to distribute them to countries, such as the US, where the system has not yet been implemented.

Sandra Quinn of Apacs said there is a lot that consumers can do to avoid having their card cloned and we encourage them to follow the advice. Simple things such as shielding your Pin with your free hand whenever you enter it into a keypad will dramatically reduce your chances of becoming a victim of fraud.

A recent Apacs report on Attitudes to Card Fraud has established that 20% of cardholders rarely or never shield their Pin when carrying out a transaction or when using an ATM. Furthermore, 25% confess to having the same Pin for all their credit and debit cards.

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News posted: November 5, 2007

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