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Chip and pin card ‘scam’ Shell garage raided by Police within hours of being identified on this website

Southern Daily Echo photograph 

Further comments and information arising from the article we published yesterday, 18 April, revealing a chip and pin card fraud at a Shell garage in Portsmouth Road, Woolston, Southamption. By co-incidence or otherwise, within hours of publication, the garage was raided by the Police.

Chip and pin card fraud at Shell UK petrol stations


April 18th, 2008 13:29

Dear Mr Donovan

I made a card purchase on 18th March 2008 at Portsmouth Road, Shell garage, woolston, southampton, and this is the only transaction I have made from this account.

Lloyds TSB called me Wdnesday morning very early to advise that I have had 2 attempts made on my account from Austrailia. one for over £400 and another for a bit less.

I am not happy that this garage represents Shell and the corporate image in this way and on-one is doing anything to assist me or any others in our posistion that are having our cards cloaned in this way.

I have had my account frozen, my card cancelled and am very distressed by the whole thing and have to wait for my bank to reissue cards etc.

I have been advised to contact trading standards and the police re this.

I am writing this email in good faith that you will look into this for all of us that have had this happen to us by this garage.

Many Thanks

Sarah Vaughan

2. April 19th, 2008 11:10

i live a stones throw from the garage in question and have seen the garage turn into an unmaintained shamble. i know of 2 people that have had their cards cloned and they also have had money taken out around the world. malaysia and also in australia.

the garage always seems to be dirty, windows broken and not repaired. the prices that they charge in there has made me not use it for quite some time know. when i have had to go inside to make a purchase, i have always had to wait whilst the person behind the counter finishes their conversation. politeness dissappeared a long time ago and change is usually pushed into my hand. i travel a lot due to my work and the company that i work for has an account with shell so i am in a shell garage every day. it is not just the garage in portsmouth road that has gone down hill, it is also being seen across the country. i do not know what the outcome of the police investigation will be, but i do hope that the person or people involved will be either sent to prison for a long time or they are sent back to their country of origin.

stew smith


Dear Alfred,

Within two hours of contacting you my husband drove past the Shell garage in question and said it was sealed off and swarming with police.
Here is the article that has been produced today in our local paper.

Southern Daily Echo Article
I didnt receive any acknowledgement or reply to my email to Mr. Smith yet but will hope to early next week. 
Every local resident I have spoken to today is very happy that at last some action has been taken.
Thanks for your help.

Name and contact information supplied


Southern Daily Echo: Cash card ‘scam’ garage raided

Exclusive By Will Carson

SCORES of Hampshire residents have been left hundreds of pounds out of pocket by a card cloning scam that allegedly took place at a petrol station.

Last night, police dramatically raided the Shell garage in Portsmouth Road, Woolston, Southampton, after more than 80 people reported having money taken from their accounts at overseas locations.

It is thought hundreds more could have fallen victim without realising as they have not yet checked bank statements.

All of the victims allege they had recently used their cards at the petrol station.

Hundreds of pounds’ Some – including five members of the same family – claim to have lost hundreds of pounds taken from their accounts as far away as Malaysia and Australia.

Detectives believe the card cloning scam is linked to a number of reported incidents around Britain, but insist the Woolston garage is the only one in Southampton being investigated as part of Operation Linwood.

The team of officers, headed by detectives from Bitterne CID, carried out the pre-planned raid last night, assisted by officers from across the county force, including Police Community Support Officers.

Last night more than 15 officers swooped on the business shortly after 6.15pm, swiftly closing it to the public using police vehicles to block the entrance and exit.

A short time later they arrested five people on suspicion of fraud by misrepresentation.

Inside the privately owned petrol station that is branded with the Shell logo because it uses the company’s fuel, police questioned staff before removing potential evidence of the card-cloning scam.

Officers were seen searching for documentation that could be linked to criminal activity, as well as checking and removing ceiling panels, possibly searching for a hidden camera.

Police also raided a semi-detached four-bedroom house next door to the petrol station, which belongs to the garage’s owner.

It is understood the three people living in the property all have links to the garage, and are believed to work there in various capacities.

On the street outside several passers-by stopped to watch, with some voicing their concerns about goings-on at the petrol station.

Warrants DS Dave Jackson said: “As a result of a number of complaints in relation to a card cloning scam we executed two warrants, one at the garage and one at a nearby house. Five people have been arrested in accordance with the Fraud Act.

“We’re searching for evidence, both technical and documentation, relating to card details of people who may have visited the premises, and made an innocent purchase.

“Currently, the number of complaints we have received is around 80, but that figure is expected to rise.

“People are purchasing something that they need for their everyday lives, like fuel, and they don’t expect it to end with their own money being drawn out of their accounts in places like Malaysia.”


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Southern Daily Echo Article and its also non-profit sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

2 Comments on “Chip and pin card ‘scam’ Shell garage raided by Police within hours of being identified on this website”

  1. #1 stew smith
    on Apr 23rd, 2008 at 02:00

    if anyone is trying to contact me via my email address, please use the subject heading of ” shell garage – fraud “. many thanks, stew smith

  2. #2 Karen Fancett
    on Apr 22nd, 2008 at 02:46

    Scammed by this ‘SHELL’ petrol station out of £1300 over 4 days. Yes always unfrieindly, ignorant staff and overpriced goods. Only used when desperate but I TRUSTED THE ‘SHELL’ LOGO!!

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