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A Horrible Feeling - Having My Debit Card Cloned


I found out yesterday that someone had recently cloned my debit card and was using it to top up their mobile phones. What a horrible feeling! It's the first time it's ever happened to me and I felt really angry that someone could do something so despicable. I also felt slightly panicky at the thought of my account being emptied before my eyes.

I only found out when I had a phone call from Cookson Gold saying payment had been declined for an order I'd just placed. I tried to pay again and it was declined again so I checked my account online and saw the five payments taken out without my knowledge. Just small amounts that they must have hoped I wouldn't notice but I think the bank had put a stop to any more debit payments as it must have flagged up as suspicious at this point. It happened once before but that time it was me on a bit of a spending spree and the hold put on my account was lifted after I made a phone call :D

I rang the bank and eventually, after battling with an automated "thing" that didn't recognize my voice, then speaking to a real person, who put me through to another real person who asked if I banked with them -  "yes, obviously" (otherwise why would I be ringing you?) I was put through to someone who checked it wasn't me making the payments to EE T Mobile and O2. I was feeling a little bit frustrated at this point although I understand why they have to double check.

Things were sorted eventually and my card was cancelled and the money refunded within a couple of hours so apart from being without a debit card for a few days until the new one arrives everything is ok now. Thank you the nice man from the fraud department. I do feel a bit lost without my bit of bendy plastic though.......

Now I'm just trying to figure out how it happened. Having my card cloned at a cash point is the most likely explanation but I haven't used one for at least a couple of weeks plus I would've thought they would take larger amounts of money out of the account rather than topping up their phones for £10 and £20 at a time. In shops I usually put the card in the machine myself although I'm not that vigilant at covering up the keyboard when I type in my pin. I'm thinking that it may have been from an online payment where the card number and security code are given but paying online is supposed to be safe. I am baffled but it has made me think that I need to be a bit more vigilant from now on.


  1. I am so sorry to hear this! People can be horrible. In the US there are criminals who put a device on bank machines that steals everyone's information. I always look at the machine first to make sure there is nothing odd on it. I only use machines located at banks since they are safest.

    My debit card number was once stolen online where I did receive a notice about accounts being compromised. Luckily only 1 bad transaction showed before I cancelled the card. Now I only use my credit card which seems safer. Stay safe!

  2. I know how you feel. I kept getting my card number stolen over and over but mainly from one site I was buying from. I figured out what site and I don't use them anymore but it began happening again and it turned out I had a keystroke virus on my computer. It felt like such an invasion because with a keystoke virus the criminal can see every thing you type, even emails, ect. If it keeps happening you might want to have your computer check for virus' by a pro not a virus checker program like Norton. They blow right on past those.

  3. Thanks for your comments and the advice. I'm going to find out what I can do to check for a keystroke virus.

  4. When we first moved over to Germany we got a German b/a and cards and I bought a baby chair in our local babyone. The next time I tried to use my card it was swallowed up. The bank had been alerted someone had put a false machine in the shop and had cloned hundreds of cards. I was lucky that they stopped mine as soon as they realised and it wasn't successfully cloned. Scary stuff. :(

  5. It's frightening to think that machines inside shops can be tampered with too.

    I'm now unable to access my website behind the scenes as they couldn't take the monthly sub as my card is cancelled! As soon as the new one arrives I can sort it but even so the inconvenience caused by someone's dishonesty just spreads!

  6. I had my card cloned several years ago at a local supermarket by a dishonest employee. The other usual place is when paying for petrol.

  7. I'm beginning to think nowhere is safe!


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