Page last updated at 15:06 GMT, Monday, 21 April 2008 16:06 UK

Grandmother robbed by card conmen

Margaret Anderson
Margaret Anderson had 1,000 taken from her account

A grandmother has told how she cried when she found her bank account had been stripped bare when she tried to take out money at an Edinburgh ATM.

Margaret Anderson, 70, of Corstorphine, fell foul of fraudsters who may have been skimming credit card details in order to fund international terrorism.

The retired civil servant, said she was "very angry and upset" when she discovered 1,000 had been taken.

A Bank of Scotland spokesman said they would refund all her stolen money.

I was due to meet my sisters for lunch so I ran along to them and I could feel the tears running down my cheeks, they had even taken my overdraft
Margaret Anderson
Card fraud victim

Up to 5,000 cards could have been copied during the operation which centred around two of Edinburgh's petrol stations.

Speaking to BBC Scotland news online, Mrs Anderson, who is a grandmother-of-three said she was relieved she would be getting the money back.

She said: "I needed some cash so I went to the ATM on Saturday in the West End and it came up nil so I rushed to the bank and I saw on the girl's screen that it said Port of Spain in Trinidad.

"They had been taking the money out over a couple of days. I was due to meet my sisters for lunch so I ran along to them and I could feel the tears running down my cheeks, they had even taken my overdraft.

"The money was for bills and to pay for spending money for a trip we are taking next month to the River Rhine.

"The bank has now told me they will be refunding my money within four weeks. I will be very wary about using my card again and certainly won't be using it in the Shell Petrol garage again."

Tamil Tigers

The scam could cost Scots up to a million pounds. Police say it works by placing a miniature interceptor inside a card reader which copies the information from the card's magnetic strip and picks up the pin.

The details are then downloaded, sent as an e-mail, and transferred to plastic - essentially creating a new credit card.

Police say cards copied in the city have already been used in America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Trinidad and Tobago, Malaysia and Pakistan.

It's thought a quarter of a million pounds has already been defrauded - a total which could rise to a million before all the cards are stopped or cancelled.

Police say the attacks were carried out by professionals working for an international network and that they were similar to a scam uncovered last year raising funds for the Sri Lankan terror group, the Tamil Tigers.

Det Con Mike Harris, of Lothian and Borders Police, said: "You would not notice anything and the staff would not notice anything."

A Bank of Scotland spokesman said: "Fraud of this nature can be very stressful and upsetting. We are keen to make sure that no customers lose out as a result of this criminal activity.

"When a customer falls victim to fraud, which is clearly through no fault of their own, we will work to ensure they will get all their money back."

Police warn of credit card scam
29 Sep 07 |  Hampshire

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