Passed through London Kings Cross station last night and, as my mobile battery had packed in after some serious wallop, had to make a couple of calls at a payphone.
Whilst fiddling for my antiquated BT chargecard (BT has kindly hiked the cost of using a credit card to 85p from 50p) I noticed a scattering of white cards on the floor with magnetic stripes.
All over the station near the payphones, in fact.
The weary but cheerful guy cleaning them up explained that the card cloners now use BT payphones as a means of checking whether the card details are on the hotlist database or not.
As BT payphones allow to use a credit and debit cards without a PIN for up to a a tenner a day (or so I'm told), the card cloners can use the payphones to see if they work.
If they work, it means that the card can be used for a low value transaction below the retailer's floor limit, without fear of arrest in a retailer, as it's not on the active hotlist - even though the cardholder may have reported it lost or stolen.
Apparently the cloners are so brazen these days that they check a fistful of cards at a time at rail station payphones, where lots of people are milling around.
Those that don't work, they simply chuck on the floor.
So where are British Rail station security? Don't make me laugh...