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Brits charged over fake ATM-card withdrawals



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Mark Hubert Veerasawmy, 44, and his son Sonny, 19, at Phuket City Police Station. Photo by Yongyot Preurksarak.



PHUKET CITY: A father, mother and son from the UK have been charged with using fake electronic cards to withdraw more than 100,000 baht from ATMs while on holiday in Phuket.

Capt Supachai Petchkul of Phuket City Police Station today told the Gazette that police received an anonymous phone call at 1:40 am yesterday reporting that two foreign men were behaving strangely in front of the Kasikorn Bank branch on Chanacharoen Rd, near the Robinson department store.

Police arrived to find Mark Hubert Veerasawmy, 44, and his son Sonny, 19, withdrawing cash from the bank's ATM. Both were wearing small white masks that covered the nose and mouth, Capt Supachai said.

The pair were found in possession of 15 withdrawal slips, 10,000 baht cash and 35 fake ATM cards with a magnetic strip on one side and a two-digit and a four-digit number handwritten on the other side, he said.

"We took them to the police station, but we forgot to take their mobile phone, which they used to call Jennifer Anne Chapman, 31, from England, to tell her that they had been arrested," Capt Supachai explained.

After questioning the father and son, police moved to the Mukda hotel in the Phun Pol area of Phuket City to search the two rooms the family was staying in.

"We went to their hotel and found his wife and baby girl, about two to three years old, in front of the hotel. We searched their rooms and found more than 100,000 baht in bundles separated by rubber bands," Capt Supachai said.

He alleged that the phone call gave Ms Chapman the chance to dispose of the machine used to encode the fake cards with bank account numbers and PIN numbers.

"It would be great if we could get the machine because it would be useful as evidence. However, a motorcycle taxi driver parked near the hotel told police that [before police arrived] he saw Ms Chapman walking along the road with a black bag, but she returned to the hotel without it," Capt Supachai said.

The three were charged with cheating by using fake electronic cards. "The three today signed papers acknowledging the charges," Capt Supachai said.

He added that they are now being held at Phuket Provincial Court.

The baby girl, who police did not name, has been handed over to the British embassy to be returned to the UK.

Edited by taxexile
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I take 2 ATM, PLUS cards, to Thailand for emergencies.

Only 10 bucks in each account.

I use internet bank transfer of funds from another bank, immediately prior, to any withdrawal if needs be.

Nobody get much if they steal my card IDs

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Bet they are not going to get a gentle slap on the wrists and told not be so naughty , like they would in the UK , if they haven't got enough for the local law enforcements pension contribution , it's tough shit , I dont have any sympathy , this is not the sort of place I would want to get caught commiting crime , it's bad enough when your innocent!!

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Brits charged over fake ATM-card withdrawals



bull2192008-6285-1.jpg

Mark Hubert Veerasawmy, 44, and his son Sonny, 19, at Phuket City Police Station. Photo by Yongyot Preurksarak.



PHUKET CITY: A father, mother and son from the UK have been charged with using fake electronic cards to withdraw more than 100,000 baht from ATMs while on holiday in Phuket.

Capt Supachai Petchkul of Phuket City Police Station today told the Gazette that police received an anonymous phone call at 1:40 am yesterday reporting that two foreign men were behaving strangely in front of the Kasikorn Bank branch on Chanacharoen Rd, near the Robinson department store.

Police arrived to find Mark Hubert Veerasawmy, 44, and his son Sonny, 19, withdrawing cash from the bank's ATM. Both were wearing small white masks that covered the nose and mouth, Capt Supachai said.

The pair were found in possession of 15 withdrawal slips, 10,000 baht cash and 35 fake ATM cards with a magnetic strip on one side and a two-digit and a four-digit number handwritten on the other side, he said.

"We took them to the police station, but we forgot to take their mobile phone, which they used to call Jennifer Anne Chapman, 31, from England, to tell her that they had been arrested," Capt Supachai explained.

After questioning the father and son, police moved to the Mukda hotel in the Phun Pol area of Phuket City to search the two rooms the family was staying in.

"We went to their hotel and found his wife and baby girl, about two to three years old, in front of the hotel. We searched their rooms and found more than 100,000 baht in bundles separated by rubber bands," Capt Supachai said.

He alleged that the phone call gave Ms Chapman the chance to dispose of the machine used to encode the fake cards with bank account numbers and PIN numbers.

"It would be great if we could get the machine because it would be useful as evidence. However, a motorcycle taxi driver parked near the hotel told police that [before police arrived] he saw Ms Chapman walking along the road with a black bag, but she returned to the hotel without it," Capt Supachai said.

The three were charged with cheating by using fake electronic cards. "The three today signed papers acknowledging the charges," Capt Supachai said.

He added that they are now being held at Phuket Provincial Court.

The baby girl, who police did not name, has been handed over to the British embassy to be returned to the UK.

Keep it in the family eh !,. bizarre,.
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"that two foreign men were behaving strangely in front of the Kasikorn Bank"java script:add_smilie(":o","smid_10")

rolleyes.gif

"Both were wearing small white masks that covered the nose and mouth"java script:add_smilie(":D","smid_7")

biggrin.gif

"The pair were found in possession of 15 withdrawal slips, 10,000 baht cash and 35 fake ATM cards" java script:add_smilie(":D","smid_13")

smile.gif "but we forgot to take their mobile phone"java script:add_smilie(":D","smid_8")

laugh.gif

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Strange indeed to keep it all in the family. Out of curiosity, how do they get the bank account number and pin that they would need to encode the fake cards? (No i don't plan on trying this myself. Just wondering how you would avoid these kind of people from withdrawing from your account). And in Thailand, what happens if there are fraudulent transactions like these from your account? Do you get your money back or are you out of luck?

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For a professional all is needed is an ATM withdrawl slip,which most people throw away and an encoding device.

In Malaysia I lost AU$5000 from an ATM fraud.The bank traced it back to someone taking my thrown away slip and making up a new card all in the space of 8 hours.I did get my money back as the crims withdrew it while I was on a flight back to Oz but it took months and apparently I was not the only victim.

Beware of throwing away transaction slips.

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For a professional all is needed is an ATM withdrawl slip,which most people throw away and an encoding device.

In Malaysia I lost AU$5000 from an ATM fraud.The bank traced it back to someone taking my thrown away slip and making up a new card all in the space of 8 hours.I did get my money back as the crims withdrew it while I was on a flight back to Oz but it took months and apparently I was not the only victim.

Beware of throwing away transaction slips.

Sorry Momo8, but coming from a banking background there is no way they can clone cards from a withdrawal slip. Take a look at one - there is virtually no information on it. I think your bank were giving you a load of BS, and trying to make you feel responsible.

Sounds like they were probably skimming cards - attaching a small device to the ATM slots which reads your card data, and attaching a small camera in the ATM housing to record your PIN.

These kind of devices are pretty easy to spot for us savvy westerners, but for a naive Thai without alot of banking knowledge they would probably not be looking. It sounds like it was mostly Thais that got scammed if they had to make 15 withdrawals to get 10k.

Edit to add: this type of fraud has been virtually eliminated in most Western countries with the implementation of Chip and PIN technology, where your details are stored on an encrypted microchip rather than a magnetic strip.

Edited by sweetchariot
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You're probably right and no idea how it was done.That's just what I was told and this is going back years ago.Modern technology has caught up in recent years.Luckily this ended happily for me.

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Well, God bless them for providing such a positive example of how us Brits behave :o

It isn't enough that we send idiots over to get drunk, stupid and aggressive, take the p**s out of the locals and generally embarass the rset of us. Oh no. Let's have a crime holiday as well, shall we?

It makes me SO ANGRY

Edited by sadman
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These kind of devices are pretty easy to spot for us savvy westerners, but for a naive Thai without alot of banking knowledge they would probably not be looking. It sounds like it was mostly Thais that got scammed if they had to make 15 withdrawals to get 10k.

Edit to add: this type of fraud has been virtually eliminated in most Western countries with the implementation of Chip and PIN technology, where your details are stored on an encrypted microchip rather than a magnetic strip.

nor thai neither westerner has a lot of banking knowledge - even your own knowledge might be behind what's happening in the crime world, if you are not a professional in that field.

those brits were withdrawing 10k each transaction - the limit in thailand is 20k. That's why they had 35 cards and 100k in the hotel room.

If course card fraud exists in the west and is the growing problem for banks - last year Barclays bank called me, asking about the transaction for over £100 at the cosmetic shop on the high street. The bank asked me what transactions I did recently and if by any chance I was buying tickets from the budget airlines. Apparently I did buy from easyjet.

it's not only that people who charge your card pass your info to criminals, but the banks employee itself sell the info to the gangs. There was a documentary program on the bbc some 4 months ago about an undercover journos investigating card fraud.

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These kind of devices are pretty easy to spot for us savvy westerners, but for a naive Thai without alot of banking knowledge they would probably not be looking. It sounds like it was mostly Thais that got scammed if they had to make 15 withdrawals to get 10k.

Edit to add: this type of fraud has been virtually eliminated in most Western countries with the implementation of Chip and PIN technology, where your details are stored on an encrypted microchip rather than a magnetic strip.

nor thai neither westerner has a lot of banking knowledge - even your own knowledge might be behind what's happening in the crime world, if you are not a professional in that field.

those brits were withdrawing 10k each transaction - the limit in thailand is 20k. That's why they had 35 cards and 100k in the hotel room.

If course card fraud exists in the west and is the growing problem for banks - last year Barclays bank called me, asking about the transaction for over £100 at the cosmetic shop on the high street. The bank asked me what transactions I did recently and if by any chance I was buying tickets from the budget airlines. Apparently I did buy from easyjet.

it's not only that people who charge your card pass your info to criminals, but the banks employee itself sell the info to the gangs. There was a documentary program on the bbc some 4 months ago about an undercover journos investigating card fraud.

I was referring to ATM fraud, not card fraud. The only form of card fraud remaining in the UK is 'buyer not present' transactions, ie. internet or telephone purchases.

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