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Last Updated: Friday, 7 December 2007, 20:08 GMT
Village hit by credit card scam
Garage at Houghton on the Hill

An entire village may have fallen victim to an elaborate international credit card scam, police believe.

Hundreds of people living in Houghton on the Hill, Leicestershire, are thought to have reported cash being withdrawn from their accounts.

The withdrawals have been made from countries including Australia, India and the Philippines.

The owner of the village shop called in the police after suspecting fraudsters were targeting his customers.

Jim Funnell has run the business for 30 years. He was shocked that customers had been caught up in the scam simply because they had bought goods at his shop and garage.

"We're a small, independent garage serving the community. It hits you hard," he said.

"We've lost money in the family and members of staff have lost money too."

Some customers said they had been called by their bank to ask if they had carried out any transactions abroad. If not the bank feared their card had been cloned.

Leicestershire Police confirmed they were working closely with the victims and Mr Funnell to establish the full circumstances of the operation.

Mr Funnell has now changed the debit and credit card machines in his shop.

Some of the victims affected by the scam

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