Debit Card Clone Wars: Debit and bank cards cloned in online fraud explosion

July 2, 2008


All you wanted were some cigarettes. Not a big ask considering you had worked 67 hours the week before and the huge pile of cash that should be sitting in your bank account goes someway to masking the sheer hell of the weeks work; the 59 cups of coffee, 246 cigarettes; the hell the neighbours gave you; your work colleagues who every day take a little of your soul, not to mention the nagging girlfriend and the flatmates whose eyes you want to cut out with scissors. The two thousand pounds that is nestling sweet and cold in your bank account will make it all, if at least not worthwhile, then bearable. Only it wont because when you hit the 4 digit key into the machine and ask it nicely for money, it tells you “insufficient funds’.

You can hear the machine laughing at you. You try it again, the infuriation rising in the pit of your stomach like the bowls of Mt St Helen’s, ready to burst into an exquisite ulcer. You know there is money there, or at least their should be, their normally is, its the 26th of the month, there is always money there ready to be exchanged for intoxication.

You haven’t been to the bank for a while but this time you sweep in like the north wind demanding to know where your money is. The clerk tells you to get in line – you hadn’t seen the 27 other sweating cicadas wasting their lunch hour queuing in the bank, now all staring at you as if you had just raped their children – so you wait and you wait and all you want to know is where the money that you worked your fingers to the bone for is, its your money, its your right. So the clock ticks down and finally its your turn and you demand a statement and you receive it and it turns out that you have no money. Your card has been cloned and a man in South Africa has spent all your money.

Card cloning is becoming big business and if you get caught in its vicious web, you are going to be experiencing a whole world of frustration. Your bank account will be frozen and your cards cancelled. You will then have to wait for new cards and pin numbers which will take up to 2 weeks. In this time, not one person will apologise to you. Not one person will say “sorry Mr/Mrs… I know you bank with us and under our watch somebody stole all your money, so we are sorry.” There will be no such apology.

The card manufacturers who have developed the Chip and Pin system that is being so easily violated will not take the blame or apologise – the chip and pin system has been used for a lot longer on the continent and criminals are learning how to corrupt and bypass the mechanism. In an extra kick-in-the-teeth victims are being denied reimbursement because as far as the computers are concerned, the correct card and pin number have been used in the crime. That you have never been to South Africa is of no concern to a computer.

Taketheblame would like to console the victims of debit card cloning and offer our apologies on behalf of those who are truly responsible.

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