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Recyled credit card numbers pose fraud risk

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The use of recycled credit card numbers by UK banks could create loopholes for fraud.

Clydesdale Bank customer Stuart Robertson recently discovered that a MasterCard from the bank he cancelled a few years ago was still "live". The number has been reissued to another Clydesdale customer.

Robertson found that all he needed to access the rebadged account through Clydesdale's Web site was the revised expiry date for the card (no name, address etc. were required). Robertson was able to guess this expiry date after 23 attempts and succeeded in transferring a small amount from the account (to prove the breach), The Guardian reports.

Clydesdale Bank has promised to stop using recycled credit card numbers. It said it would stop using an unnamed outsourcing company that was reusing numbers. This company is used by "a number of high street banks", the bank told the paper.

It is unclear how widespread the practice of recycling CC numbers is. No-one from Clydesdale Bank's public relations department was available for comment this morning.

Glasgow-based Clydesdale Bank has 274 branches in the UK. It has promised to investigate the problem. Clydesdale is a subsidiary, along with Yorkshire Bank and Northern Bank, of the National Australia Bank (NAB) group. ®

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