Bank cards have been cloned in a series of incidents believed to be linked to the pay at the pump fuel service at Broadbridge Heath’s Tesco.
Dozens of people reported that their debit or credit cards have been cloned on the County Times’ Facebook page, and in a number of cases, transactions attempted in the USA have been stopped by banks.
Sussex Police said they have investigated the fuel pumps after receiving reports from the public, and Tesco has closed a pump as a ‘precautionary measure’.
Two Tesco employees are among the customers to fall victim to the fraud.
Sally Hemsley, of Barns Green, works part-time at Broadbridge Heath’s Tesco Extra store and said her card has been cloned twice within a year, with the most recent occurrence taking place last month.
She said: “HSBC rang me and asked if I was in America and I said no. They blocked somebody trying to use my card in America.
“The only places I could think of where I had used it were online, but I always use PayPal, and self service fuel.
“I put a comment on Facebook and was surprised how many people said the same thing had happened to them. Colleagues at Tesco said they had it happen too - it was more widespread than I thought.
“For me it was so easy to go through but I am not going to at the moment just in case.”
Another Tesco employee, who lives in Horsham but asked to remain anonymous, previously worked at the Broadbridge Heath site and also told of how he has been affected twice.
He said: “I believe I have been affected by this as far back as August or September.
“In the first instance a large number of transactions were made on my credit card, thankfully my bank noticed these were out of the ordinary charges I would make.
“Again as recently as two weeks ago a different credit card that is paired to the other credit card was cloned. Again my bank and credit card provider were very helpful and everything has been sorted.’’
Other victims of card cloning took to social media to tell their story.
Lisa Davison wrote: “Mine done too however my bank were not quick enough to stop it so money taken again in New York.”
Alison Walmisley-Davies said: “My credit card was cloned there. Replacement cards arrived Saturday. Won’t use pay at pump until this is resolved.”
Amy-Jane Lane added: “Mine got cloned just before Christmas and attempted to use in America but bank was on the ball so no money was paid out. Couldn’t work out how but it all make sense now as I always use pay at the pump!”
The pump has been closed ‘as a precautionary measure’, a spokesperson for the supermarket said.
The Tesco spokesperson said: “As soon as we were made aware of the possible problem we closed the pump as a precautionary measure and informed the police.
“Protecting our customers is our top priority and we’re supporting the police with their inquiries.”
The spokesperson added that police have investigated and have found no sign of a suspicious device installed at the pumps.
A spokesperson for Sussex Police said: “Police received a report from staff at the Tesco petrol station in Wickhurst Lane, Broadbridge Heath, that four customers had reported their bank cards being cloned after using one of the pay at the pumps at the garage on Saturday January 24.
“Staff were told to disable the pump and check it for any suspicious device. An officer also attended to check at the garage but nothing was found.
“The four customers were told to report the cloning to their bank and to Action Fraud.”
Action Fraud advice is to cover your pin number when you enter it on the machine.
If there is anything unusual about the cash or payment machine or there are signs of tampering, do not use it and report it to the bank, shop or garage immediately.