Major chip and PIN fraud revealed by police

It looks like the first major chip and PIN fraud has occurred, with police saying that hundreds of customers at Shell forecourts across the UK had their details stolen as they paid for petrol.

According to newswire reports, criminals posing as technicians are thought to have implanted devices into chip and PIN machines which recorded punter's card details, as well as their PINs.

More than a million quid appears to have been skimmed from the user's accounts, say police. Shell, meanwhile, has suspended using chip and PIN at around 600 of its petrol stations across the UK.

APACS says that eight people have been arrested in connection with the scam, with officials claiming that it was only the magnetic stripe system was being copied, not the chip system.

So what? It makes no difference whether the fraudsters recorded the magnetic stripe or the chip - the results are the same. Talk about smoke and mirrors from APACS. Perhaps the PR people there should get a spin job with Tony Blair. Lord knows he needs such talents at the mo'.

As I've said time and again on these pages, I regard chip and PIN as a retrograde step in card security. Signatures aren't perfect, but PINs are even less so. Get a punter's card details and PIN, and the fraud floodgates open very wide indeed.

There will be other major chip and PIN frauds in the months ahead, you mark my words...