Bank card fraud fears: Cloning can be carried out by STANDING CLOSE
A WARNING has been issued over contactless bank cards with details being “skimmed” while the card is still in your pocket.
One of the biggest threats to consumers using contactless cards is that there details can be very easily “skimmed”, this is when a criminal does not steal any cash from your card but instead your card details.
There is even an app for your smartphone which allows your mobile to act as a card reader, where once again it takes card’s details but not the cash. This app is created by credit card reader NFC and it is completely legal and free.
This information can then be used to clone cards.
For the first time, according to UK Finance contactless fraud has overtaken cheque fraud, which totalled £9.8 million last year.
Also the number of cards in circulation have increased from 59million to 119million from 2015 to 2017.
The general belief is that you must be close to a card for a transaction to go through.
However, the University of Surrey Journal of Engineering in 2013 said a team managed to “successfully receive contactless transmission from distances of 18 to 31 inches”.
Nigel Swabey, an entrepreneur who runs mail order company, Scotts of Stow has attempted to solve this problem. He has bought the European rights to an Australian-designed wallet which is called Skim Guard.
Skim Guard has a chip embedded into it and can tell you when other devices are trying to connect with the contactless cards inside the wallet and jam the signal.
Other wallets with a simpler design are also available and have been handed out by Police Scotland at the Edinburgh Festival as well as councils like St Albans issuing them to residents.
Banks have downplayed the need for such equipment saying that wallet manufacturers and retailers are hyping up the situation.
The banks do admit though that there is a chance criminals can get hold of your card numbers but believe very little can be done with this information.
Katy Worobec, managing director of economic crime at UK Finance said: “While it may be possible to copy the information off the card, it doesn’t get you anywhere.
“There are very limited circumstances you can use this in. Most retailers require the security, or CVV, number on the back.”
It is common for retailers to require the CVV, but some do not, like the UK’s fifth largest retailer Amazon.
Some websites only require the name, address, long card number and expiry date of a card to buy something of any value.
Back in 2015, consumer group Which? used a card-reading device to skim details from 10 cards and, without the names of the cardholders and the CVV code, Which? was able to make two purchases including one for a £3,000 TV online.
In Africa, Asia and America card security is less strict than in Europe making it even easier to gain card details and then clone cards.
Aggie Leighton, who runs money-saving website Savvycomper explained how her bank Barclays had warned her she was overdrawn.
Ms Leighton said: “I couldn’t work it out. Nearly £800 had left my account in the space of a few hours, while I had been asleep.”
The transactions that had lead to her being overdrawn were in Chicago, even though she had never been.
She added “The first had been a small amount at a petrol station, but then the fraudster went to a shop and restaurant. It looked like they went on a real spending spree.”…
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