I got a curious call on Saturday night from my bank asking if I was in Sri Lanka. At this point alarm bells were ringing as No, I was definitely not in Sri Lanka and nor should my debit card be withdrawing money from any ATMs there. Luckily it seems my bank has a pretty good fraud detection system – the card was cancelled immediately and I’ll be getting the £250 they stole back.

A quick search on Google shows that I’m not the only one who’s fallen victim to this sort of high-tech fraud. Only last Friday were more than 5000 cloned credit cards seized in Sri Lanka –

“About 2300 of the fake cards had been encoded with genuine credit card data from England, one official said, adding that if all 5350 cards were used, the men could have withdrawn up to 400 million baht ($11 million).”

Apparently, it’s believed that the credit card details are stolen in England and then encoded onto fake cards in Thailand. What’s even more worrying is that there is very we can do to stop this as individuals aside from the usual precautions. At the end of the day it’s more of a hassle than anything else to sort out and one which I could do without!

David avatar

6 responses

  1. Good question Ushi, I'm guessing my details must have been swiped by dishonest staff in a shop or restaurant although I'm usually pretty vigilant about not letting the card out of my sight. The other possibility is that my details were hacked from either the bank or a third party who were holding my credentials. Either way I'll be doubly careful from now on!

  2. Ushi avatar

    Yikes! How'd they get your details????

    I'm glad it was resolved though!

  3. Yep, totally agree – with the way technology is advancing this sort of crime is only going to increase. Already innocent people have gone to jail over cases involving identity theft only later to discover that it was in fact someone else pretending to be them. We can only hope that the systems in place to monitor this advance at the same rate as those who would subvert them.

    It seems our online lives will become just as stressful as our real ones!

  4. Yeah, seems that overnight the government changed roles from being public servants into an all-seeing and all-knowing dictatorship. You can't even climb a ladder or wire a plug without certification anymore. Where will the madness end!!

  5. It seems there's not much we can do about card fraud these days other than keep an eye on our statements – I heard the other week about crime gangs planting agents in callcentres to harvest details. I suppose we could resort to cash – but then there's the whole chip pin malarky! Do you ever get the feeling that as a race we've “advanced” too far?

  6. Ushi avatar

    Indeed. I'm particularly unimpressed about the whole 'uber database' business that's going on at the moment. The privacy and issues regarding that alone should deter the government from going down that path. If not privacy – then atleast they should consider the cost.


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