HSBC warns cardholders to change PINs

Interesting to read a report on the United Arab Emirates' newswires that HSBC in the Middle East - along with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Emirates NBD and Citibank Middle East - have warned cardholders to change their PIN as a precaution against fraud.

The banks are said to have been sufficiently worried that they've been sending out text message alerts to customers since Tuesday of this week.

Jonathan Campbell-Hames, the head of security at HSBC Middle East has told reporters that a number of banks in the area have been hit by counterfeit card usage outside the region.

"We have been proactively communicating to our customers via SMS to change their PIN numbers at any HSBC ATM as a precaution, and have implemented various containment strategies to minimise the threat posed," he is quoted as saying.

HSBC's comments come after a raft of cloned cards were discovered being used in the US, where PINs are not normally used, but signatures are.

Which kind of makes a mockery of the request to change PINs - if the card PINs aren't being used in the US, why bother?

Words like "pointless" and "panacea" spring to mind. Or am I just being cynical?...