Hackers prep for credit card scam in UK supermarkets

Hackers have been preparing for a large scam using cloned US credit cards in British supermarkets.

The information discovered in the investigation has been handed to the banking industry-sponsored Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit, which said it was examining the reports. But it would not confirm if an investigation will take place.

The DCPCU said the only way to effectively stop this type of crime was for the US to follow Europe in using the chip and pin system. "Ultimately, the buck stops with the US," a spokesperson said.

But the same problem also affects UK cards being used in the US, again with the magnetic stripe being cloned, the spokesperson explained. "As Europe rolls out chip and pin, it's pushed the fraud in the direction of the US. The US is now in pole position for UK cards being used fraudulently abroad."

Moloney said cardholder not present transactions were another popular choice for fraudsters looking to get cash from credit cards. These include the use of money transfer services, and criminals have also set up fake premium-rate telephone numbers, and fake stores, to take the cash.

Earlier this month, fraudsters in Ireland posing as authorized bank service personnel replaced credit card readers in retailers' stores with their own, capturing data that can be used to empty bank accounts and make purchases.

And the DCPCU raided a counterfeit card fraud factory in Birmingham, finding the equipment needed to steal card details and make counterfeit magnetic stripe cards "on a massive scale."

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