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PeterboroughToday.co.uk: Three held in card clone probe: All the men arrested are believed to be Shell employees

Shell Fraud

(Police swoop on a Shell filling station in Westfield Road. Picture: ROWLAND HOBSON)

THREE men have been arrested today (November 29) in early morning raids in connection with an alleged card cloning scam in Peterborough.

Fraud squad detectives and police officers swooped on seven properties, including three filling stations, in and around Peterborough shortly after 7am today and arrested three men, aged 29, 37 and 38, on suspicion of conspiracy to steal.

The move comes after unsuspecting residents complained to police that they had their cards cloned and money syphoned from their accounts after they used them to buy petrol.

Officers today went to Shell petrol stations in Westfield Road, Lincoln Road, Walton, and Oundle Road and residential addresses in Sprignall in Bretton, Park Road and Gains Close in Peterborough, and Willow Lane in Cambourne, near Cambridge.

All the men arrested are believed to be Shell employees.

A spokesman for Shell said: “Shell is aware that staff have been arrested at the Shell petrol station sites.

“Shell has co-operated fully with the police investigations. We cannot comment further on this as police investigations are underway.

“We urge customers who detect suspicious transactions on their cards to contact their card issuer.”

Police have revealed that they received more than 300 complaints from people who have used their credit or debit cards at Shell garages and have had money fraudulently removed from their accounts.

They believe up to £500,000 may have been removed from accounts – and there may be others who have not yet contacted detectives.

Jessica Philips (56), of Granville Avenue, Northborough, welcomed the move.

She said: “I am pleased the police have taken this action.

“I thought nothing was being done but I guess officers were taking time to build up their case before they made any arrests.”

She said she has been a lot more cautious when using her card after £1,000 was taken from her bank account.

Mrs Philips, who believes her card was cloned after she used her chip and pin to buy petrol, said: “I was lucky in that my building society returned the money almost straight away.

“But I have spoken to about four other people who it has happened to and some have not has their money back yet.”

Police said they will continue their searches throughout the day. The arrested men are currently being interviewed at Thorpe Wood police station.

Det Insp Jon Betts, who led today’s raids, said: “I would encourage anyone who believes they have had money stolen from their account, particularly if that has happened after paying with a credit or debit card at a Shell petrol station in Peterborough, to contact their bank or financial services provider so they can liaise with police.

“I am keen to hear from anyone, including Shell staff members, who may have noticed any suspicious activity within the garages, particularly when they have gone to make payments.

“I would also urge people to ensure they keep a close eye on their bank accounts and query any transactions they don’t recognise or remember making.

“You should also ensure you use the more secure chip and pin function on your card, rather than the old method of card payment.

“Although this investigation has been concerned with incidents that appear to have happened at Shell petrol stations, this type of fraud can happen anywhere, so you should always be vigilant about security.”

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