MORE victims of a major bank fraud in Huddersfield have come forward.
All have fallen victim to card cloners – thieves who steal electronic details of bank cards and use them to create new cards.
The scam is centred on the Nationwide in Huddersfield.
And officials have admitted that their inquiries into the fraud centre on a retail outlet in Huddersfield.
In every case, cloned cards have been used in Texas, in the United States, to buy goods worth hundreds – and in some cases thousands – of pounds.
The victims have been promised their cash will be refunded into their accounts.
A Birkby couple were among those who have fallen victim to fraudsters behind a bank card scam in Huddersfield.
Examiner reporter Anne-Marie Bradley and her husband Nigel discovered about £600 missing from their account – with the money spent in stores in the Houston area.
Yesterday the Examiner reported on the case of Gledholt pensioners Austin and Kate Myall.
Almost £3,000 was siphoned from their Nationwide account and spent on shopping in the Houston area of Texas.
The Gledholt pensioners discovered what had happened when they checked the account balance and found they were more than £2,400 overdrawn.
Contracts estimator Rob Forbes was also a victim.
The Lindley man said: “I was interested to read of the fraud suffered by the Gledholt couple you featured. I too was a victim of the same fraud last weekend, when they took £ 4,600 from my Nationwide account.
“I have to say that the staff at Nationwide were extremely sympathetic and helpful, and I now have all of the money back, though I am still awaiting my replacement debit card to start using my account normally again.
“I had checked on my internet account and realised something was wrong when I tried to transfer money. It seems it was all taken out and spent on one day, April 21.
“I wonder if there is any means whereby all of us victims can establish the circumstances giving rise to this event, so we can learn more and help others to prevent a similar disaster.”
Ms Bradley said: “We were lucky because Nigel checked on our bank account online and immediately realised that the money had gone out.
“We stopped the card immediately when we contacted Nationwide and then found out that the thieves had tried to spend even more the following day.
“It seems whoever got our card details had done a test purchase of about £40 in a place called Richmond, Texas, and once that worked went on a spending spree at Wal-Mart stores in Houston.
“It was a real worry because our mortgage payment was due to go out of that account and we would have missed the payment.
“The people at Nationwide were very helpful and promised us the money would be repaid within days. They seem to think that someone has copied details off the card somewhere in Huddersfield and then used them in the States”.
Ms Bradley said that three friends had also fallen victim to the scam.
Golcar Nationwide customer David Howroyd lost £728 to the fraudsters, who spent the cash at various outlets in Houston at the end of March.
He said the money had been refunded, but added: “I’ve been checking my balance religiously since.”
A retired civil servant from Taylor Hill, who did not want to be named, had about £2,700 stolen from her account.
She said: “I was absolutely horrified because I have never even had an overdraft.
“I was told by Nationwide that about 200 people had been affected.”
A Nationwide spokeswoman said the company’s fraud department was looking into the matter.
In relation to the incident involving Mr and Mrs Myall, a Nationwide spokeswoman said: "We can confirm this was not as a result of skimming at a cash machine, where a device is attached to the machine to read the details.
"It happened at a retail outlet that the customer has used since the card was issued."
She would not say which shop it had happened at, but added: "We are working with a number of other financial providers and APACS (the UK payments association) to look into the matter."