Tesco under fire for leaving shoppers open to card fraud

Consumers ‘hundreds of pounds out of pocket,’ Which?, after using self- service checkouts

Consumer group Which? is accusing Tesco of allowing a “security loophole” at some of the retailer’s self-service checkouts to leave shoppers vulnerable to fraud.

The organisation claims it has been contacted by “several angry people” who found themselves “hundreds of pounds out of pocket” through fraudulent in-store transactions. Banks have since reimbursed them.

Which? says that customers only have to swipe a payment card to purchase goods, without needing to provide a signature or punch in a PIN. This effectively means anyone using a copied or stolen card can pay for items without encountering extra security measures, according to the organisation.

Which? has carried out tests at some of Tesco’s 200 stores that feature self-service points. It calls the set-up “highly irresponsible”.

But the UK’s leading grocer has reacted angrily to the research. A spokesman says: “It’s complete rubbish. There is no increased incidence in card fraud at our self-service checkouts compared with other traditional methods [of payment] in retail.

“We have many other types of security arrangements surrounding installations. It is incorrect to say we do not know when Chip & PIN will be installed – our target is for all machines to be converted by the end of the year.”

He adds: “It is regrettable that Which? should choose to stir up anxiety over a perceived security threat when the facts tell a different story.”

He points out Tesco staff are available at self-service checkouts, while terminals are also monitored by CCTV.


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