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The Guardian: Shell keeps PIN ban after £1m fraud

Shell keeps PIN ban after £1m fraud Sandra Haurant and agencies
Monday May 8, 2006

Chip and PIN terminals at 600 Shell service stations remain suspended today as a fraud investigation continued.

Eight people, including one from Guildford and another from Portsmouth, were arrested last week in connection with the theft of more than £1m.

The criminals used scanning devices similar to those used by fraudsters targeting cash machine users to copy the cards' magnetic strips and record PIN codes.

Apacs, the card payment association, said it had heard of no other incident where chip and PIN terminals had been tampered with in this way.

Sandra Quinn, the association's spokeswoman, said it was not a new method of fraud.

“They have managed to tamper with the PIN pads. They are supposed to be tamper resistant, but that has obviously failed,” she said.

Only Shell had been affected and the association was confident that it “was not a systemic issue”, Ms Quinn said.

A Shell spokesperson said: “We will reintroduce chip & PIN as soon as it is possible, following consultation with the terminal manufacturer, card companies and the relevant authorities, to ensure that customers can be confident that their transactions are fully secure.”

Customers will be unaffected as they can still pay by card by signing for fuel or goods.

The 400 Shell outlets run by franchisees in the UK will continue to use the chip and PIN service.

The Metropolitan Police's cheque and plastic crime unit is conducting an investigation.

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