Poor Job as Halifax customer loses Chip & PIN case

5 June 2009

The Halifax bank have won a significant court case against a customer who claims his Chip and PIN card was cloned, leading to the loss of £2,100 from his account in a series of ‘phantom withdrawls.’

Alain Job launched a lawsuit against the Halifax after they refused to reimburse him after the money left his account following the withdrawals three years ago. The customer argued that the card had been cloned, something that is still commonplace, particularly outside the UK, where the easily-forged magnetic strip is still used to read data from cards.

But, following scientific evidence presented by Halifax’s lawyers, the judge ruled that the Job’s Chip & PIN card had been used in the transactions, leaving him facing a bill for costs for around £50k. He is considering an appeal.

Most of us know someone who has had their card cloned and used to make fraudulent transactions, but have you had ATM trouble since the Chip & PIN system was launched? How did your bank handle the situation? Tell us, damn you!

[The Register]

TOPICS:   Banking


  • acecatcher3
    so he took out £2100, denied it and now has to give them £50ks worth of court fees lool!! id pay it put on 1 condition..they have to allow me to star in a new halifax advert with Howard!
  • Bob
    Had a Chip+Pin card cloned (the magnetic part, not the chip)...which was followed by withdrawals in quick succession from germany and then india. Of course, HSBC are fucking halfwits and didn't bat an eyelid that I suddenly decided to withdraw some money in germany and then 2 hours later the rest in india, but they still reimbursed me because the chip+pin was not used.
  • Will
    The guy should go to prison if this scientific evidence is so positive!
  • Dave T.
    Wrong - we the taxpayer are paying the £50K
  • Will
    Following on from that - I had my card cloned and had 2x £50 transactions on my account to vodafone. I contacted MBNA - they reimbursed my money - cancelled my card- sent me out a replacement card in the next days post (saturday delivery) and sent me a form to fill in to confirm the fraudulent transactions. I contacted Vodafone and advised them of what had happened and they explained the money had been used to top up a couple of mobile phones. The chap I spoke to blocked both mobile phones so that they are blacklisted and can never be used again and blocked the sim cards. He said if the people ever phoned up to ask what was going on he would forward their details to the MBNA and follow it up with the police. Very impressed with both MBNA and Vodafone. I'm not even a vodafone customer!
  • Quagmire
    To be fair to the bank to use a chip n pin card you need to also know the pin for the card! Now before someone comes in saying that ya can still sign in some places - this is true but it is recorded on the link system how the purchase was processed and this would have to show it was used with the pin as if it was signature then the bank cannt prove you used it. The guys pin must have also been compromised and in this occurance unfortunately the T&C's protect the bank and the customer is liable as it is their responsibility. Having worked for a bank I have seen many situations where this has happened and unfortunately we have been unable to help. The most common is when a couple split up and the wife/husband has access to the other persons card and decides to be a bitch/bastard takes all the money because they know the pin for the card. This is definately not a case where the card can be reimbursed!
  • Geoff J.
    Fao Will Hardly worth contacting Vodafone, software to take them off the blacklist is freely available everywhere on the net
  • Dave T.
    Read the judgement: http://www.alikelman.com/jobhbos.pdf Its very interesting.
  • Giles
    @ Dave T That's not much each really, is it? £50,000 / 26,000,000 = not even a penny? (if it's true at all!)
  • lemon
    "The guys pin must have also been compromised and in this occurance unfortunately the T&C’s protect the bank and the customer is liable as it is their responsibility." If the PIN was compromised, it doesn't necessarily follow that the customer is liable. In the past card holders would only use their pin at ATMs, but now they have to input their pin in stores so there is now a vastly higher chance of their PIN being observed, either by someone looking over their shoulder, hidden security camera, or via a chip and pin reader modified to capture the unencrypted PIN. As well of course from a scamming device attached to an ATM. I've worked for a bank long before chip and PIN, when some banks still claimed the old magnetic stripe system was infalible when customers disputed phantom ATM transactions.
  • Pete T.
    The key thing at stake here is whether the chip on a Chip and PIN card can we cloned. It's very easy to clone a mag stripe card or to clone the mag stripe from a Chip and PIN card, it is not believed that it is possible to clone the chip on a Chip and PIN card. When you use your Chip and PIN card in Chip mode, the transaction is marked as such and the banks are so sure that the Chip can't be cloned, they refuse to pay up on any of the transactions. In all probably someone who knows his PIN is nicking the card from his wallet, using it and putting it back. If it was such a big deal you would think it would be easy to get hold of the CCTV of the card being used, I would lay money it was someone he knew!
  • abc
    pillock, like the fish
  • John
    Dave T - thanks for the link, as you say it is very interesting as the main article is a bit misleading, although scientific evidence on how secure the chip and pin system actually is was part of it, another large part was actual just common sense. Reading through the pdf and putting aside whether chip and pin is secure or not, it still seems highly likely the claimant (or someone he knew) withdrew the money. Some of the facts: - the withdrawals were made from ATMs close to where the claimant lived which he had used himself on a regular basis - the withdrawals stopped immediately when the card was blocked, no more transactions were ever attempted after that. You would expect the person to try again and when rejected, stop trying to use the card but this never happened - no normal transactions were made during these withdrawals - the card could have been used for far larger purchases which would maximise use before caught - it was a Visa Electron card which is a debit card and not a great choice for cloning as a credit card would be more likely to have more money available
  • Pete T.
    Read the PDF, you're right, either him or one of his family took the money out of the account.
  • Farooq
    some one took £32 x 2 from my account (alliance and Leicester) ATM used in Bangkock. it was later revealed that a many people used a shell patrol station (oppingham road. Leicester) and they all had money taken out. Alliance and leicester cancealled my card and issue new one with all money refunded to me, happy days.
  • James R.
    I've had cards cloned and the bank cancelled the debt without any fuss
  • James R.
    Read the full judgement posted by Dave T and make your own mind up - I have and I think that in all probability the judge got it right http://www.alikelman.com/jobhbos.pdf
  • Alistair K.
    A copy of the official judgment in this case is avaiable at my website www.alikelman.com (just follow the links) I will shortly be writing a background paper on the site including the history of ATM fraud in the UK - I brought the first group action. AK
  • Daniel V.
    It's Joseph-Désiré Job's cousin, a well known Ex-Midlesbrough Striker. I have read the PDF, it looks as if someone from the family took the dosh?
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  • Claire
    Halifax has informed me today that they will not be reimbursing a fraudulent transaction that took place on our card yesterday. The card was used at a Petrol Station in Hayes at 1.25pm hrs for £50. My husband has used this petrol station in the past where the card has obviously been cloned. At the time of this transaction the card in question was tucked away safely in my husbands wallet whilst sat in a board meeting at work. The Halifax still refuse to believe that it was cloned after being told by the Police that they deal with this on a daily basis. I am now in touch with the financial ombudsman who will make a final decision. It makes me livid that Halifax are getting away with this. Why would I go to all this trouble cancelling cards, informing police, contacting the fraud line and writing this if we were lying. If Halifax get away with refunding us our money I shall close every account down we have with them, change our mortgage and never go near them again. Their customer care and arrogance beggars belief!

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