|In reply to Comment 24 (Christophe Decanini):|
> With an ATM machine, a few PCs, he managed to build a visa card that would
> work with any PIN, transfer the money to the seller without withdrawing it
> from any account.
You must have alot of offline machines in france.
In the UK it's very uncommon for you to be able to use a credit card without it verifying your details online. The PIN has never been stored on any cards, although a hash of the PIN used to be on some cards to reduce traffic when the number was obviously wrong. This was taken away because they decided they'd rather have it dial up when you did enter the wrong PIN :-) In the US they do online referals when you buy a sandwich.
The magnetic strip cards are too easy to mess about with, cloning cards is very common. I had mine cloned last year & had alot of hassle getting them to remove the bogus transactions.
Hopefully the new smart cards are going to stop this, not all retailers in the uk have switched over yet though.