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Card scam victim warns retailers

10 January, 2008
Page 7 
The innocent village garage owner whose Jet outlet made national headlines for being at the hub of an international credit card scam has issued a warning to all retailers.
Up to £1 million has been taken from the bank accounts of customers who used the mini pay machine at Houghton Garage, Houghton-on-the-Hill, Leicestershire, since December 4. Credit cards were used as far away as the Philippines, Australia, Canada, Malaysia and India.And now owner Jim Funnell believes that every outlet in the country is at risk to a similar scam.He says: "We're wide open, attendants are left unsupervised, particularly in the evening - and if references are not taken up you can fall victim. I am not saying that this is what happened in this case, but it would be very easy."Everyone needs to be aware of the risk. Nearly 100% of my 600-customer base have had money taken from their accounts. Just about everyone in the village has had cash skimmed, including a police officer." The criminals are believed to have installed a tiny needle camera in the garage - on the A47 road - to spy on customers as they entered their pin numbers. The card and the PIN numbers were matched up and then e-mailed to criminals around the world where fake cards were created and used at cash machines.A large-scale police investigation is underway, involving world-wide enquiries.