Fraud Alert! Thieves using scanners to steal account details!
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Fraud Alert! Thieves using scanners to steal account details!

Are you taking full advantage of the new contactless bank cards? They may seem like and extremely smart idea, however, thieves are using scanners to steal unsuspecting people’s bank details and can even take details when cards are in people’s pockets.

A fraud alert has now been issued and contactless customers are being warned to be extra vigilant as they could be at risk of fraud.

Apparently the clever criminals can use a scanner to pick up details of nearby contactless cards and use them for online purchases.

Which? researchers tested ten cards, six debit and four credit and found all of them had the security flaw.

Which? reported: ‘Using a reader and free software to decode data, we were able to read the card number and expiry date from all ten. Some cards revealed certain details of the last ten transactions, but no cards revealed the CVV security code – the number on the back. We doubted we’d be able to make purchases without the cardholder’s name or CVV code, but we were wrong.’

Which? went on to explain: We doubted we’d be able to make purchases without the cardholder’s name or CVV code, but we were wrong. We ordered two items – one a £3,000 TV – from a mainstream online shop using “stolen” card details, combined with a false name and address. We’ve alerted the store involved.’

Some research is suggesting that scanners can capture the card details simply by being held close to a handbag or wallet while positioned near people in a shop or standing in a queue.

How you can avoid the scam

Tests by Which? have found that wrapping the card in tin foil can keep your cards secure and some firms also sell protective metal wallets that are designed to stop a scanner picking up the card details.

If you become a victim of the scam yourself then you should inform your bank and they should reimburse you as long as you have taken ‘all reasonable steps’ to keep the card safe.

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