Self-checkout systems in UK supermarkets are being targeted by hi-tech criminals armed with stolen credit card details, the BBC has revealed.
An investigation by the BBC has found that thieves in the US are planning to loot American bank accounts by using cloned US Credit and Debit cards at self-service systems to get cash back or buy high value goods.
The supermarkets targeted, including Asda and Tesco, said there are already aware of the scam and that there is little chance the fraudsters would make significant gains with their plan.
The BBC, aided by a team of computer security experts, unearthed details of the scam on a card fraud website forum in which hi-tech thieves claim to have comprehensive details of US credit and debit cards and debated the best way to strip money from the US accounts .
The gang concluded that the card details could be copied onto the magnetic stripes of fake cards and then used at self service checkouts – where there is a reduced risk of them being spotted by staff.
UK credit and debit cards can not be cloned in this way as they support Chip and Pin facilities instead of having just the magnetic strip.
Fraudsters from Britain involved in the production of the counterfeit cards have been recruiting people to make withdrawals or purchases in return for a cut of the proceeds.
The incriminating information has been passed on to the Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit at UK-based payment organisation Apacs.
“We would hope this will bring further pressure on the States to introduce chip-and-pin,” said Jemma Smith of Apacs.
“Until that happens we will still see fraud on US cards happening in our shops and our cash-machines and also fraud on our cards happening in the US .”