In a new type of card skimming fraud, criminals are targeting train travellers, especially those on the London underground services where automated ticket machines are becoming ever more prevalent.
As part of a cost-cutting exercise, British Rail has been implementing automated ticket machines for some time now. Thieves have discovered that they can manufacture skimming devices in order to extract PIN numbers from unwary travellers who use their credit cards to purchase their tickets.
These fraudsters use tight fitting keypads which they place over the machine’s original keypad. Electronics within this thin piece of equipment can then read the magnetic strip from the credit card whilst a small camera above is used to record the PIN number.
With both of the pieces of information the fraudster can then clone a new card and go on a spending spree.
According to a London newspaper, Metro, every station on the Western District line has been targeted and transport police have already recovered 58 such devices.
Customers are advised to check for suspicious devices attached to ticket machines and also to use one hand to shield their PIN number, even if they don’t believe anyone is watching.
So far, police have arrested 2 people who were caught installing such a skimming device on the Piccadilly line.