Beware of contactless card cloning

By 11th September 2018Banks Wealth News

(and thank you for the vigilance of the Halifax Credit Card Fraud team.)

In August we were shopping in Manchester, at the Trafford Centre, with my eldest son, his Fiancée and her parents. We were browsing for wedding outfits. While we were there (we believe) my wife’s credit card was cloned. It never left her possession but from then on until a couple of days later someone else was using it.

I got a call from Halifax Credit Card fraud team to ask whether, or not, I had attempted certain payments which had been declined. After speaking to my wife I was able to confirm that she hadn’t but we checked recent transactions and saw that a payment had been made to ‘Go Skippy’ which is a car insurance company I believe. That is not a company we had ever dealt with and the £604 that had left our account was a fraudulent transaction.

There are two purposes to this blog. The first is to thank Halifax for their vigilance and for spotting the unusual activity and then informing me and then for refunding the fraudulent transaction meaning that we are not financially worse off.

The second is to warn you all to be vigilant. This happened without our knowledge. It could have been cloned in one of the shops we were in by a dishonest shop assistant or by an individual with an app that is capable of reading data on contactless credit cards. There was no masked mugger to be seen.

Going forward we will keep our credit cards in one of those wallets that doesn’t allow our cards to be cloned by someone else’s smart phone but I hope that the banks are improving their technology to prevent this happening anyway.

I read an article this morning that said that cash purchases now only account for 22% of all purchases with the rest being purchased by card. This is clearly going to continue to increase. We go to Sweden quite regularly and many of their shops (including coffee shops and convenience stores) do not even accept cash.

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