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LETTERS to Fleet News’ editor Martyn Moore.

Are you a victim of skimming scam?

SIR - Regarding the Shell skimming scam (Fleet NewsNet, May 11). I was subject to this in February and March this year, but I had not been in that area of east London where it occurred for over a year.

I use an Allstar Fuel card and don’t recall using my Visa.

I tend to use Shell fuel outlets mainly. Have any other readers experienced this? Fortunately the card company was very responsive and the debt was cancelled, but it had reached £790 cash in three days.

CHRIS ELDRED
European regional manager, Technology services, Datascope

Chip and PIN aids ID fraud reduction

SIR – A security breach with chip and PIN machines at some petrol stations, which now appears to be spreading to other retailers, combined with revelations about a new way for fraudsters to get hold of consumer information – from the coupons for airline boarding passes – is likely to make consumers more nervous than ever about the security of their personal data.

Just before chip and PIN went fully live in February this year, we surveyed a cross-section of Equifax customers to find out how they felt about this new system, designed to improve the security of their personal and financial details.

Our survey showed 73% felt that retailers did not offer a discreet and safe environment in which they could enter their PIN and 70% said they felt vulnerable when using chip and PIN cards.

However, 67% had high hopes for chip and PIN in providing an effective route to reducing credit card and ID fraud.

It now appears that consumer fears may be fuelled, with the breaches reported at some petrol stations and major retailer Tesco changing the casings of its 2,000 ATMs to stop criminals from attaching cloning devices.

Those of us working in the consumer credit industry still feel that chip and PIN, combined with a number of other initiatives to tackle ID fraud, is making a difference.

Criminals are almost always one step ahead of the crime prevention initiatives.

The latest scam of using boarding passes to gain consumer information shows just how careful people need to be with their personal information.

Shredding – using a cross- shredder – is a must for any personal information that’s being discarded. And subscribing to a monitoring service, like Equifax Credit Watch, that will send an alert if any information changes on an individual’s credit file, is also a valuable measure.

NEIL MUNROE
External affairs director, Equifax

A fine would cost less than obeying law

SIR – In reply to the article on the front cover of the April 27 issue 14,000 Fleets Face Prosecution Threat.

Why has it taken three years to get to the point of prosecuting companies whom have not conformed with the directive to supply insurance details to the Motor Insurance Database?

We operate some 2,000 vehicles within AAH/Lloyds Pharmacy and worked very hard to ensure we met the deadline of January 20, 2003. Furthermore we incurred significant expense putting the information in place and continue to incur cost maintaining it.

It would have been more cost effective for us to not comply and wait for a fine.

GEOFF WRIGHT
Head of Corporate Services, AAH/Lloyds Pharmacy

Van-driving costs still outstrip cars

SIR – Further to Trevor Gelken’s response to my letter concerning the new benefit-in-kind charges to be levied on company van drivers (Fleet News, May 11), Trevor is quite correct in pointing out that van drivers will only pay either 22% or 40% tax on the BIK of £3,000.

I took that as read. This of course applies to car drivers too, they only pay 22% or 40% on the taxable value of the car they drive.

The point I am making, and feel that needs to be stressed, is that most van drivers will now be required to pay more tax than their car-driving collegues.

The £3,000 benefit-in-kind charge for a van exceeds the P11D value that any of my car drivers will be taxed on. This is clearly unfair. The convenience and comfort level of a car far exceeds that of a van.

Further to this many vans have only a single passenger seat and are totally unsuitable for transporting the driver’s family.

MIKE CLAYTON
Garndene Communication Systems

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