Quite urgent. Card cloning. Can anyone help?

(28 Posts)
WorryingExperience Mon 15-Aug-16 17:25:39

I need to know if you think I need to cancel my cards or not. I phoned the bank & they said it's my decision. It's going to be a monumental PITA if I do, but if anyone with any knowledge thinks I need to, I will.

It's a bit of a ramble, sorry, I'm still pretty shaken. Name changed as I'll tell friends when I get home & don't want to link it to my normal ramblings about life.

I'm in Montpellier and just had an awful experience at the tram stop outside the main Train Station. As per usual the ticket machine wasn't working, so I was about to cross the line and try the one on the other side. This girl came & said something to me about it not working & to use the other one, she sort of tugged my arm. I don't know the 'politically correct' term for them, but they're very 'street & a bit feral'. (Sorry, I really don't know how else to describe them). She was 'trying to help' & being too British I didn't like to tell her to bugger off, she was shielding the screen from the sun & telling me to wait etc then to enter my pin. I could see she had selected 'one trip €1.60' all good, she turned away & I entered my pin. But it wouldn't work, we tried several times and a couple of cards & cash. It wasn't having any of it so I let others have a turn and (to my relief) she went back to her friends.

It was working for some people & not for others, so I had another go & it worked.

Crossed back to the other side & sat on the bench.

She was still over the other side with her friends and as the tram approached I smiled at her in a goodbye/thanks and stood up to get on the tram, before I knew it they'd surrounded me, were trying to get into my large back pack & my shoulder bag, they wouldn't let me off the tram & they had hands everywhere, and so I pushed forward with all my weight & my packs weight and just about fell into the main part of the carriage and moved further along & sat with an older man & woman (not a couple), I told them what happened & they both asked if I was ok & if I still had everything. I was (kind of) and appear to have everything still. But I was shaken.

I still have my cards, but there was no way to shield my pin. It's a very busy tram stop with loads of people crowding around a very open machine.

The guy at the bank wanted to know if my card had gone 'all the way in' - I don't think it did, but I couldn't swear to it. He said it's entirely up to me whether I cancel my cards or not. I don't know if I need to or not? I don't know how easy it is to clone cards through machines like that? (Rather than ones you can access easily & regularly such as petrol stations etc).

WorryingExperience Mon 15-Aug-16 17:26:54

AIBU to even consider cancelling my cards?

LunaLoveg00d Mon 15-Aug-16 17:27:35

I have no idea either, but you know they were up to no good. Is it worth the risk? Especially as you have now said to the Bank you think it's dodgy - if they have been cloned and you do nothing, you may be liable.

Patapouf Mon 15-Aug-16 17:29:25

She wasn't trying to help. They (we both know what they are) work in gangs and are an absolute scourge.
I would cancel my cards.
flowers OP

Bluecarrot Mon 15-Aug-16 17:29:27

id play it safe and cancel tbh.

SomedayBaby Mon 15-Aug-16 17:30:18

Kids who look a bit 'street and feral' - are probably unlikely to have card cloning equipment IMO.

It's more likely that the kid helping you had already seen your PIN so then they were trying to get your actual card.

Personally, I wouldn't be too concerned...but still report to the police for what sounds like an attempted robbery.

Plexie Mon 15-Aug-16 17:31:52

I would cancel too. It may be a PITA but at least you won't be sick with worry.

That's the kind of set-up (people 'helping' you use a credit card in a ticket machine) I've heard warnings about but I don't know how the scam itself works. To be on the safe side, I would cancel.

Rastel38 Mon 15-Aug-16 17:32:21

Definitely cancel it. Better to be safe.

BengalCatMum Mon 15-Aug-16 17:32:32

I would call the bank, tell them you are making a large withdrawal (cash that will see you through until this card issue is resolved). Then cancel as soon as the cash is withdrawn.

Its not worth the risk, as you are not covered if you do not cancel and have called them 'aware' that you may have been cloned.

Surely the bank will have a procedure to enable you to receive new cards/ cash in this scenario abroad.

isanyusernamenotinuse Mon 15-Aug-16 17:35:12

Definitely cancel. If you were now cloned on the same holiday the bank would be unlikely to believe it wasn't connected and you wouldn't get any money back as you'd decided not to do something about it.

I hope you're ok. That sounds horrible.

ImperialBlether Mon 15-Aug-16 17:38:30

I think they wanted to see your PIN and steal your card rather than clone it. You could phone your bank and ask whether there was an unusual activity on your account.

How would you get a new card?

SomedayBaby Mon 15-Aug-16 17:38:33

Its not worth the risk, as you are not covered if you do not cancel and have called them 'aware' that you may have been cloned

This is a myth.

The bank has a responsibility to maintain the integrity of their systems and their customer's accounts. If the bank felt that the risk was high enough, the op would have had no choice about it.

By the bank giving the op the choice (assuming she's spoken to a fraud detection team and not an 18 year old on the standard helpline), they're not that concerned. And if fraud did happen on the op's account, the bank are no less liable because the op was given a choice to cancel or not.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Mon 15-Aug-16 17:40:54

I agree with Someday, but if you're likely to worry, cancel them for peace of mind.

You'll be protected by the bank anyway, they cannot offload their responsibility by making you choose whether to cancel your card. They'd have insisted on it if they felt there was a good chance your card had been cloned.

GingerbreadMouse Mon 15-Aug-16 17:43:33

Cancel and also see if the bank has any CCTV.

AndNowItsSeven Mon 15-Aug-16 17:47:26

No they wanted your card as they know the pin, I don't see how it would be cloned.

WorryingExperience Mon 15-Aug-16 17:57:16

Thank you all, very much, especially for the kind thoughts & flowers 😊

Patapouf. Yes, I know what I call them in my head as well. I wish there was a word we were 'allowed' to use instead of mincing about. Feral fucking scoundrels is as close as I can get right now. I know she wasn't trying to help & I really should have just told her to do one, but I feel quite vulnerable with a heavy pack & a shoulder bag. I try not to have both, but couldn't fit it all in my pack.

I'm torn between 'I should just cancel them' & 'It's highly unlikely the little shits have the ability to clone the machines, they're more chancers'. I agree, it's much more likely she saw my pin & they were trying to get my card.

Bengal. I would have done that (large withdrawal then cancel) but I'm now stuck in a dismal hotel in the middle of sodding nowhere - certainly not anywhere I fancy wandering around looking for a cash machine & withdrawing a load of money sad. I'm flying back first thing tomorrow & really need my cards. I can't even just cancel the one as I used them both.

Imperial. I'm on my way home so they'd send it to me in 7-10 days. In the meantime I could probably get some cash sent to a branch to collect.

I suppose I could check out now then cancel them, I'm just not sure if I'm way over reacting as I still have my cards & they're essentially a gang of pick pockets.

They guy at the bank on the international help line (maybe I should try again and ask for the fraud squad?) was really non committal, just kept saying it was up to me & if anything happened I'd just have to start a fraud investigation. I got the distinct impression he thought I was making a big fat fuss about nothing.

PikachuSayBoo Mon 15-Aug-16 18:01:08

My thoughts are if they were trying to get into your bags then they haven't cloned your card.

She got your PIN number and then needed your card.

If they had cloned it they would have trotted off happily not tried to get you as you got onto the tram.

WorryingExperience Mon 15-Aug-16 18:20:23

That's true too Pikachu. I hadn't calmed down enough to think about that as I had the usual iPad, iPhone, money, passport etc in my bag so was thinking about those things as well.

I've just spoken to the bank (again) this girl was much nicer, but not terribly clued up either, short story is she can't put me through to the fraud team until there is fraudulent activity on my card (I'd argue that point if I needed to as I think she's wrong) but she basically said that as I still have the cards in my possession the risk is theirs, not mine, but that I can cancel them if I want to, but she wouldn't. She suggested changing my pin when I get back to the UK tomorrow.

I need a stiff drink!

PikachuSayBoo Mon 15-Aug-16 18:23:38

Shame you can't go somewhere and change your pin now. Then it would be fine even if they had cloned your card wouldn't it?

PikachuSayBoo Mon 15-Aug-16 18:24:23

Can you ask the hotel where the nearest cash machine is? Not withdraw money but just to change the pin?

GeorgeTheThird Mon 15-Aug-16 18:25:05

I think they saw the pin, and wanted the card, but didn't get it.
Can you access your internet banking so you see if anything goes out, then cancel straight away? You say you have an iPad with you.

ImperialBlether Mon 15-Aug-16 18:32:06

Can you access your bank online? If you can, can you transfer virtually all money to another account?

I'm really worried for my daughter who's travelling alone - that sort of situation is very common but hard to imagine when you're not actually in it.

LIZS Mon 15-Aug-16 18:38:56

It is possible they were working for someone who does the cloning to get the pin and distract you but don't set the machines up themselves. Tbh I'd err on the side of caution and cancel cards but dh would probably take the risk. Have you spoken to police, is it a known scam that area or are they usually just opportunist pickpockets.

MiscellaneousAssortment Mon 15-Aug-16 19:54:54

Well, of the risk is on the bank, then keep the cards until you get back home.

You focus on keeping you safe. And getting home.

It must have been really scary, people tend to treat fraud and online crimes as 'victimless crimes', and forget that it can happen to people in real life and with real life effects. Have you eaten anything? Or drink anything? Like ... ok I'll roll out the cure all: Hot sweet tea? It does actually work to get rid of that shocked, shakey, sick feeling.

PavlovianLunge Mon 15-Aug-16 19:59:20

Cancel; if you think the PINs have been compromised (as seems likely), you really have to.

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