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Motorists driven to fury by card siphoning at the pumps

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Millions of pounds have been siphoned from motorists’ accounts as an international crime gang has hacked into them and stolen amounts ranging from £20 to thousands of pounds.

Police believe that the cards are ‘skimmed’ at petrol stations, where the card number and PIN are identified, giving the criminals access to the accounts.

About 200 of the UK’s 9,500 petrol stations have been affected, and police are investigating complaints made in Peterborough, Nottingham, Edinburgh, Bury St Edmunds, Leeds, Bristol and Hull.

Detective Inspector Paul Welton of Humberside Police said: “Quite clearly, this was well organised and done on an international basis. Those alleged to have been involved were able to obtain card details and PINs and combined them to clone the cards.”

Victims noticed that their accounts were being emptied of small amounts over the weeks, totalling thousands of pounds. One said: “I knew how much had been taken, but how it was taken is an absolute mystery to me.”

A BP spokesperson said between 10 and 12 of their 1,300 sites across the country had been affected and the firm had issued additional security advice to their staff.

Ray Holloway from the Petrol Retailers’ Association said: “The criminal gangs that are involved in this scam offer quite large sums to some employees to be involved in the crimes themselves and to make it easier to carry them out.”

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