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Clarkson’s Account Gets Hacked
Status: Weird News
Jeremy Clarkson, host of Top Gear, (which you can see in America if you get BBC America on cable) publicly mocked a story about some computer discs being lost that held the bank details of 25 million people. He claimed that there was no way hackers would be able to use the information to withdraw money from people's accounts. To show how certain he was of this, he published his own account code and routing number.

A few days later, according to Clarkson:

"I opened my bank statement this morning to find out that someone has set up a direct debit which automatically takes £500 from my account. The bank cannot find out who did this because of the Data Protection Act and they cannot stop it from happening again. I was wrong and I have been punished for my mistake."

The money from his account was being debited to the charity Diabetes UK.

I've often wondered what prevents criminals from withdrawing money from bank accounts in the same way businesses can when you set up automatic payment plans with them. All that's needed is the account and routing number -- which is at the bottom of every check. But I assume there must be some system to prevent this happening.
Categories: Business/Finance
Posted by Alex on Tue Jan 08, 2008
Comments (8)
More from the Hoax Museum Archives:
What prevents them is that to get the money they have to use they own acount to recive it opening themselfs to be tracked be the microbes - the agents law enforsment. From the other hand when the goverment prints tons of money and thearfore increases the inflation no one calls that robery.. Thay call it insuring liquidity.
Posted by Hack Her  on  Tue Jan 08, 2008  at  01:55 AM
The comment about the Data Protection Act is euro-skeptic FUD aimed at the readers of Clarkson's column in The Sun.

Information about the direct debit may be disclosed if there has been a crime.
Posted by Ogsy  on  Tue Jan 08, 2008  at  04:35 AM
Some banks have computer algorithms that try to identify any purchases or withdrawals that don't fit into your usual behaviors. I once bought something unusually expensive for me using my debit card and there was an extra step of verification required before I could just sign for the purchase. One of the bank's computers had flagged the purchase as unusual and demanded the extra verification. However, if Clarkson usually donates to charities nothing would seem unusual about it; and there may be banks without such systems in place. So the best thing is to just watch your account and notify your bank if something looks wrong.
Posted by Crazy Ivan  on  Tue Jan 08, 2008  at  10:31 AM
Jeremy Clarkson regularly giving hundreds of
Posted by Mr Henderson  on  Tue Jan 08, 2008  at  02:17 PM
I'm sure the charity was just a way to channel the money into another area. I.E....Money laundering. The criminal found a way to get the money to the charity, and probably had a way to get it out in another way that wouldn't be noticed. It's likely the charity writes lots of checks to people. If it's like some charities here, they probably pass the money out to various research outlets, doctors, patients, people who are trying to cover costs, etc.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Tue Jan 08, 2008  at  05:36 PM
More than likely he gave the money to charity, then wrote about it like he was hacked as something good for his page.

Almost everything that man does is a TV set-up
Posted by Spike_pkh  on  Wed Jan 09, 2008  at  12:38 AM
This man is always getting knocked in the press. Am I the only one who thinks he's great?
Posted by Jeremy Clarkson  on  Wed Jan 09, 2008  at  10:00 AM
Jeremy Clarkson admits he was wrong?!?!?!

That alone is so unbelievable it has to be untrue. . . .
Posted by DFStuckey  on  Fri Feb 15, 2008  at  02:00 AM
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