Card cloning victim 'now too scared to use cash machines'By Jennie Slevin
January 23, 2013
A victim of bank card cloning and identity theft is ‘too scared to use cash machines’ after her account was drained by criminals.
Michelle Ferris believes her card was targeted by a cloning device fitted to a cashpoint leaving thieves free to steal around £1,000 from her account.
A number of card cloning devices have been discovered by police in Bracknell town centre and at petrol stations during the past month.
Michelle, of Kelvin Gate, Bracknell, said: “The one I used looked like a normal cash point, these devices that they use don’t make it look any different.
“It’s scary. I’d suggest people use cash machines inside locked banks, or get cash back in shops.”
She added: “It’s an awful feeling.
“I’m having to constantly check my bank account to make sure nothing else has happened.
“There’s nothing I can do to stop them, short of moving house and changing my name.”
Michelle, who works for a security company, discovered her card had been cloned after a week of Christmas shopping and celebrations.
She said: “I didn’t find out until December 28 when I got a text from my bank.
“I’ve an automatic service that lets me know when I’ve only got £40 left in my account and I got that just after I’d been paid and I still had all my bills and rent to pay so it was really scary.”
She added: “Just after that I found out I’d had my identity stolen.
“It’s difficult to tell if they’re connected but it seems coincidental.
“I had a letter from a company stating my credit card application had been rejected even though I hadn’t applied for it.
“I spoke to the company and they had the application connected to a bank account for Barclays who I don’t even bank with, and an email address that’s not mine.
“So now I have a marker against my credit report to alert creditors to be careful accepting credit applications from me.”
Michelle reported the incidents to her bank and they are being investigated by its fraud department.
She added: “Once they identified it was fraud they reimbursed me.”
Cloning devices have been found on cashpoints at a Morrisons at the Peel Centre in Skimped Hill Lane and a BP garage in Wokingham Road.
A police spokeswoman said: “The Bracknell neighbourhood team is aware of three cases in the past month.
“It’s believed it’s done by people passing through as they can’t really stay in one place as they’d be caught really easily.
“We don’t think Bracknell’s being targeted.”