Social engineering: Man poses as Asda employee, steals £40k

Banking malware targets UK high street banksGiving credit to criminals is a very rare occurrence, but this caper took a pair of spherical objects.

Late last month, a man dressed smartly in a suit sat down in Asda’s currency exchange booth and helped customers with their requests. All seemed relatively normal.

However, while wearing gloves and guessing exchange rates, the man was giving customers “wedges of cash” in exchange for pounds sterling. He also gained access to the safe and walked out of the store £40,000 richer.

How did this happen?

A source close to the event described the heist:

“As the woman in the Bureau de Change was leaving he slipped into the kiosk. He started to serve customers, just giving them wedges of cash, as he clearly had no idea about exchange rates.

“At one point a senior member of the Asda staff walked passed while he was in the kiosk and even spoke to him but he just kept up the pretence – as cool as you like.

“Apparently the code to the bureau safe had not been changed for ages. He must have been in a few times and done his homework.”

A spokesman for GMP said that a 22-year-old woman had been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud.  It seems likely that this woman allowed the stranger to slip into the kiosk.

Common sense

Once again, common sense could have prevented this from happening. While it’s hard to stop staff committing a crime, such as intentionally allowing a criminal in, it’s not hard to regularly change safe passwords or to encourage staff to question someone they don’t recognise.

Personally, if I saw someone I’ve never seen before handling cash with gloves on, I’d be somewhat suspicious.