Norwegian Couple Lost 18,000 Kroner In Thai VISA Card Scam

Eight months after the Thailand-holiday disappeared 18,000 kroner from the account. While the card holder was in Norway, the VISA cards information’s were misused in Cologne in Germany, writes the Norwegian tabloid VG.

“It’s a terrible surprise! I do not understand is how criminals may have received it. We have been extremely cautious, “says Frode Sitter.

While the couple thought them self safe and sound, the VISA card were misused in Germany.

“Teller says that our VISA card information’s have been copied while we were in Thailand in November 2007, and that is was misused in Germany, “says Sitter stated.

The scammers was able to tap the account for 18,000 kroner, but has also tried to take other actions than that.

“They have also tried to use the 37,000 kroner in a jewellery shops, “says Sitter.

The couple has now blocked the card, so that they do not have more unpleasant surprises.

According to the couple Sitter was very cautious with VISA card during the holiday season.

“We used the card, so to speak, only in ATMs, and always assured us that nobody saw the code. We never left the card out of sight in restaurants, and paid with cash as a rule”, explains Sitter.

The credit card company Teller thinks that Frode Sitter has been a victim of a so-called scanning of the VISA card. Scanning means that the card is illegally copied, and it can be done by installing a reader within the ATM machine. The reader copies the magnetic strip on the card, and often there is also a hidden camera used to film when the costumer presses the pin code. With a magnetic strip copied correctly the card can be misused.

“It is not at all uncommon that this happens, “says information manager at the credit card company Teller, Anders Bigseth.

The 30-year-old magnet strip technology is used all the time by criminals. Norwegians on holiday abroad is, according to Bigseth, attractive subjects for many card scammers.

“In Norway, it is safe to use the cards. Banks got anti scanning facilities installed in the ATM two years ago. We see that scanning in the ATMs has gone down dramatically in Norway. Many other countries have unfortunately ATMs with poorer security than ours. Therefore, it is important to follow our card advices”, he explains.

In his view, Hestnes and Sitter have been hit by scanning in such a machine.

“Even if the couple tells us that they have been cautious, some still managed to copy the card information’s and observe the pin code. Those who are doing this type of crimes can get it if the conditions are right for it, “says Bigseth.

In cases like this the card holder get compensation from the Bank. A poor comfort, according to Sitter and Hestnes, and it does not make them less sceptical about the use of VISA cards in other countries.

“I think it is frightening that is so easy to abuse VISA cards. We will soon travel to Thailand again, and then we will use credit cards rather than bank cards.

Bigseth agree:

“Use a credit card to avoid other people can drain one’s own account for money. Are you at risk of fraud, it is in other words, not your own, but the bank’s funds that are robbed”, he says.


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