Warning regarding the use of cloned pre-paid credit cards in North Wales

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North Wales Police are warning retailers throughout North Wales regarding the use of cloned pre-paid credit cards after a 23 year old man from the Manchester area was arrested at the Penrhos Retail Park in Holyhead on Sunday the 17th of February 2019.

The prepaid card in question did not have a chip and pin and when the retailer swiped it, the card did not work. As a result the retailer keyed in the pre-paid credit card number manually and this allowed the payment to go through.

DCI Brian Kearney stated “Every month around 220 people in North Wales are victims of fraud, some of which results in the victims being defrauded of thousands of pounds.

“The individual in this case attempted to purchase a high value Item. On this occasion fortunately the retailer concerned contacted the bank who advised him the credit card was likely to have been cloned and he then reported the matter to police.

I would appeal to retailers to watch out for individuals making high value purchases on prepaid cards which do not authorise when the retailer swipes the card on the card machine. Please consider contacting your bank prior to manually authorising payments for high value goods when the card does not swipe or have a chip and pin.”

“Plastic card fraud compromises personal information from credit, debit or store cards”.

To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.

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Advice from Action Fraud UK

Keep all your cards and financial details safe:

  • look after your cards and card details at all times – try not to let your card out of your sight when making a transaction
  • check receipts against statements carefully – contact your card company immediately if you find an unfamiliar transaction
  • store your statements, receipts and financial documents safely and destroy them, preferably using a shredder, when you dispose of them
  • sign any new cards as soon as they arrive
  • cut expired cards through the magnetic strip and chip when replacement cards arrive

Secure your PIN:

  • memorise your PIN and destroy any paper notification as soon as you receive it
  • ensure that you’re the only person that knows your PIN – never write it down or record it. Your bank or the police will never phone you and ask you to disclose your PIN
  • when entering your PIN, use your free hand and your body to shield the number from prying eyes or hidden cameras
  • If you think someone has seen your PIN or if you want to change it to something more memorable, you can change it at a cash machine (ATM) or by contacting your bank

Take care when using cash machines:

  • put your personal safety first. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, cancel the transaction and use a different machine
  • if you spot anything unusual about the cash machine, or if there are signs of tampering, don’t use it. Report it to the bank concerned immediately
  • be alert. If someone is crowding or watching you, cancel the transaction and go to another machine. Don’t accept help from seemingly well-meaning strangers and never allow yourself to be distracted
  • once you’ve completed a transaction, put your money and card away before leaving the cash machine. If the cash machine doesn’t return your card, report its loss immediately to your card company. Destroy or preferably shred your cash machine receipt, mini-statement or balance enquiry when you dispose of them.
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Contact your bank immediately if you think your card or personal information has been compromised.

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