PIN terminals targeted by fraudsters

FRAUDSTERS have been developing technology to tamper with chip and PIN terminals in shops and steal card information.

The scam came to light after British police raided an alleged card fraud factory in Birmingham.

It is believed the criminals tampered with retailers’ chip and PIN terminals in order to steal card transaction data and PIN numbers.

Úna Dillon of the Irish Payment Services Organisation (IPSO) said most new fraud trends that hit Britain tend to migrate over here eventually.

“We are in the lucky position where we have time to implement prevention solutions before they hit these shores. Card issuers together with transaction acquirers, IPSO and the Garda Bureau of Fraud are involved in ongoing work to prevent such frauds affecting customers here.”

Ms Dillon said chip and PIN is the safest form of payment and has reduced specific types of fraud by up to 60% in recent years.

“In addition, the banks here adhere to the banking code which means that every report of fraud is investigated. All obvious cases of fraud are refunded. In the unlikely event of a compromise affecting customers here, each case will be investigated thoroughly and customers affected will be refunded,” she added.

During the Birmingham raid, stolen chip and PIN terminals, card account numbers, card readers, computer software and counterfeit magnetic stripe cards were recovered.

Police believe thieves hide devices inside check-out card readers to unscramble codes and reveal customers’ PINs then clone new cards, which will not work in British cash machines, to withdraw money abroad.

Officers said 30 checkouts in Britain had been affected, with petrol stations the most likely to be targeted.

Detective Inspector John Folan, head of the Dedicated Chip and Plastic Crime Unit in Britain, said the arrests in Birmingham were a “significant development”.

“We are sending a very clear warning to fraudsters that these crimes will not be tolerated, and that we will continue to target them and disrupt their fraudulent activity.”

This is the latest in a series of credit card scams to come to light.

Last week, hundreds of bank customers had their credit cards cancelled after personal banking details were compromised when thieves hacked into the online database of one of the country’s leading retailers.

The scam was discovered when the fraudsters tried to use the credit card details to test if the cards were valid.

The Irish Payment Services Organisation said that it is still not sure how many people were affected or which retailer was involved.

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