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Last Updated: Friday, 12 May 2006, 18:22 GMT 19:22 UK
Have Your Say: Card fraud
A cash machine that has a skimming device fitted across the whole of the right hand side
Cash machines have in the past been fitted with skimming devices
There has been growing concern over the security of chip and pin after Shell suspended the system following suspected fraud.

Also this week, Lloyds TSB has warned that criminals are copying cards in the UK before using them abroad to bypass chip and pin security.

We asked for your comments, a selection of which are below. This debate is now closed.

Having been the victim of two card scams in the past two months I can't say I took your money expert at all seriously when he assured listeners on Saturday that the system of chip and pin was a safer deterrent against fraud and working well.

So much for assurances that the systems are getting safer
Carole Woddis, Camberwell
The last time it happened - and we still don't know how - £2,000 was lifted from my account in February. Might have been online (though I buy very little online and have no online bank account), might have been cashpoint. All I know is that my switch card number was cloned.

So much for assurances that the systems are getting safer. Not from where I'm sitting. I'm 63 and nothing of this kind has ever happened to me before, since I first had a bank account 45 odd years ago.
Carole Woddis, Camberwell

Banks have a habit of increasing their customers' credit limit without being asked by the customers. I had to ring my own bank twice to ask them to bring down my new credit limit.

A photo should definitely be on every bankcard. I'm in full support of ID cards as this would mean much faster identification of criminals.

Banks charge horrendously high charges to offset any losses incurred as a result of criminal activity.
Gerry Clist, London

From the start of the introducttion of chip and pin my husband has been opposed to the idea. He never believed this measure would increase security and has always felt it is just a ploy for the banks to pass the blame for fraud on to the customer.

He has been an account holder for about 30 years and approached his local branch to request he be allowed to maintain a signature card. He was turned down and informed you can only have a signature card if you suffer from a disability.

Bank customers are not children but well-informed adults who should have a say in how these things are run
Teresa Jones, York
He feels the banks are dictating to customers how their accounts will be run. Bank customers are not children but well-informed adults who should have a say in how these things are run.

Surely a signature is a lot easier to verify than trying to prove you have not been careless with your pin number?
Teresa Jones, York

Why can't card users specify which countries / regions the cards are valid for? I am unlikely to ever spend money in Asia so why not link authorisation to location?
Roger Mullenger, Hampshire

On Saturday, 13 May, I found out that over £750 has been fraudulently taken out of my current account in just one week, with£450 still pending when I contacted my bank. To my dismay the bank informed me that this money still had to be paid.

The police seemed a lot more interested than the bank
JB, Stockport
I was told the fraud department would be in contact with me next week. No-one could give me any reassurance that I would get my money back.

Apparently, the transactions they could trace were made over the telephone and internet. It was unusual spending activity so I'm not sure why that wasn't flagged up on the banks system! It did offer me an overdraft though, so I suppose that's something!

I took it upon myself to contact the police (the bank didn't advise me to do that). The police seemed a lot more interested than the bank, were more supportive and informed me about what happens next.
JB, Stockport

Pin has reduced the need for business to have multiple credit cards (saving the annual card fees) as one will do all employees, they all have the pin number.

Friends and relations are more relaxed and borrow each others card when out shopping, as they just need a pin.

A photograph and printed signature would be preferable, as ink signatures easily wear away after months of use. Finger print recognition is far better, it works 100% to log in to computers and prevent fraud at clocking in/out machines.
Graham Sitton, Shanklin

Of course, there are simple steps which could be taken to minimise the risk. Like allowing customers to "opt out" of foreign use (for people who never go abroad) and to allow credit card customers to opt out of being able to have ATM Cash Advances. Then at least if you only use a credit card in shops and an ATM card at ATMs, with different pins, the risk is minimised.
Jeremy, Hampshire

The banks should be forced to introduce a transparent and independent procedure
J B Taylor
I am concerned about what happens under chip and pin when one is the victim of fraud or error. As there is no signature to refer to, there is no way a customer can establish that he or she is not responsible for a fraudulent or erroneous charge. The bank can easily maintain that the customer must be responsible. They could say that he/she entered the pin, failed to protect it, or gave it to someone else.

I believe that because chip and pin deprives customers of an important protection, the banks should be forced to introduce a transparent and independent procedure for dealing with disputed charges.
J B Taylor

My wife has had a card from for many years which has her picture on the back. An easy and obvious security measure which could easily be used along with chip and pin. This would not stop ATM fraud however.

The banks seem to impose things on us when it suits them, but allow the use of old magnetic strip technology at ATMs. It seems to me that banks for what ever reason only pay lip service to security. You may get your money back if you are defrauded but the bank does not really pay for this - we all do in our bank charges.
B Hague, Seaford

A photograph of the card holder should be on all credit and debit cards. Let's do away with signatures and pins and have a fingerprint system.
Carl Thomson, Stoke on Trent

We went to South Africa and returned to see a statement from our credit card provider for in excess of £6,500. This included 46 cash withdrawals over a 19 day period with up to four per day from cities a thousand miles apart.

The obvious answer is to reduce your credit limit
Nick Roberts, Huntingdon
According to our provider, this could be the pattern for a student (I am 66 and retired). I am concerned that this number of cash withdrawals was allowed, totally outside my normal use pattern. The obvious answer is to reduce your credit limit.
Nick Roberts, Huntingdon

Last November two ATMs shut down on me after my pin had been inserted. I went to a third, inside the bank and withdrew £50.

My statement showed two withdrawals of £50. I was reimbursed £50, but the bank denied any problem, yet is not willing to explain how they came to this conclusion. Are ATMs safe? Cashback seems safer, but still be careful.
David Sandall, Birmingham

A couple of months ago my card was not accepted, and this was followed by a problem at the ATM. On going straight to the bank, I found out my card had been cloned and used at an ATM to withdraw nearly £300.

I've seen older people say their number aloud as they put it in the machine
Maureen Webb, Nottingham
The chip was faulty or absent, so when the robbers tried again, the card was stopped, along with my real one to "encourage" me to go to a branch.

I never had a problem when using signatures, but within a few weeks of chip and pin, my card was cloned.

I now feel no worries about hiding the key pad as much as possible. But I've seen older people say their number aloud as they put it in the machine!
Maureen Webb, Nottingham

I have been a victim of card fraud and have had £600 pound stolen last week from three different ATM terminals in the UK (London). So either the UK banks need to get their house in order and modernise their ATM machines to use the chip and not the magnetic stripe or the fraudsters have managed to clone the chip which is a very serious development indeed.
Phil Royston, Newbury

Back in Dec 2004, Cambridge professor Ross Anderson suggested in a BBC article that once a fraudster knows a pin, they don't need to copy the chip, just a copy of the magnetic strip. The replica card could then be used in an cash machine that only reads the strip, such as outside the UK. The BBC also quoted the Apacs's Sandra Quinn who said it would not happen. So why not talk to Ross again?

Charles, Sevilla

My card was cloned and used to take £900 from two ATMs in Hertford, and then a further £1000 from an ATM in Russia. My card limit was £300 per day. So how did they manage to take £2,000 out of my account in less than 24 hours?

It took two and a half months to get my money back in the end
Ralph Weedon, London
My bank failed to answer this or tell me how a simple magnetic strip clone of the card could be used in an ATM in the UK. Nor did it say when it was going to give me my money back. I was told to ask my branch for an overdraft. So I was expected to pay for its security failure.

It took two and a half months to get my money back in the end, and I never received an apology. I have now changed banks.
Ralph Weedon, London

If somebody can invent an electronic device then someone else can invent a way to bypass it.
Bob Balser, Clacton on Sea

Card crime may be down at the moment with the introduction of chip and pin, but that is just while the criminals get to grips with the new technologies and the new challenges. Just how can a four digit number be more secure than my very long and complicated signature? Copying a signature always requires a human, while entering a four digit number is easily automated. I've been writing software for over 30 years and I know that "To err is human, but to really screw things up it takes a computer".
Richard L de S Clauson, Reading

I am sure the cameras are capable of reading customers' pins
Alasdair Norris, Banchory
I am concerned that in supermarkets there are cameras mounted overlooking the checkouts. I am sure the cameras are capable of reading customers' pins as they are being entered. This appears to me to be a blatant breach of security as it provides widespread uncontrolled access to pins. I would be interested in the view the banks hold of this practice.
Alasdair Norris, Banchory

The chips on cards will inevitably be broken. Some Japanese cash machines have begun testing the use of heat sensing technology to scan the veins of a person's hand - something which can never be mimicked and is highly specific to the individual. But it is in not like a fingerprint, so no privacy is compromised. Technologies like this are possibly the only way to go, as any other form of card data protection is inevitably open to being broken.
Student, Oxford

The comments we publish are not necessarily the views of the BBC but will reflect the balance of views we have received. It is helpful if contributors state if they work for any organisation relevant to an issue discussed. Readers should form their own views on whether messages published represent undeclared interests, or views prompted by a common source.

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