Best Buy Employee Arrested For Stealing Credit Cards

Uh oh, another Best Buy employee has been caught swiping data from customers. Unlike the woman last August who went on small time shopping sprees, this woman was caught using a card reader to swipe and store info on as many as 4,000 customers at the Best Buy store located at 1880 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd in Palm Beach, Florida.

Best Buy says if you think you may have been exposed to risk, call their Customer Care Center at (866) 792-6391.

“Best Buy employee in West Palm Beach arrested for stealing credit card information” [Palm Beach Post] (Thanks to andem!)
(Photo: kalleboo)

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  1. Rolcol says:

    I don’t know where I heard it but some people were actually using credit cards with their name with another person’s information in the magnetic strip. They got caught outside of Best Buy. I may have read it here…

    • YardanCabaret says:

      @Rolcol: Yeah you did. The guys bought a laptop and got a box with bricks or something in it. They had bought it with their cards with other peoples info on it. Of course Best Buy had still sold them an empty box. So truly their is no honor amongst thieves.

    • obamaramallama says:

      @Rolcol:

      You did, it was at Wal-Mart though, not Best Buy.

    • opsomath says:

      @Rolcol: This happened to me. Some guy came up with my credit card info, I still have no idea who – then printed hisself up a card that matched his fake ID. Took Citibank FOREVER to fix this – I fired them.

  2. MitchEvious says:

    Does anyone else find this comment from the other fraud story funny now-

    “Best Buy operates over 1,200 stores. Thank God only 1 rogue sales associate has thought of this scam. “
    By IfThenElvis

  3. Joshua Willis says:

    I worked at a CompUSA years ago where they caught one of the punk high school kids going through the scanned receipts and pulling credit card numbers.

  4. Allen Harkleroad says:

    Another reason to cut up credit cards and use cash (Dave Ramsey-ism).

    • howie_in_az says:

      @Allen Harkleroad: Yes because there is no possible way for anyone to steal your cash, plus cash gives you rewards like cash-back, airline miles, etc.

      There are downsides to everything.

      • supercereal says:

        @howie_in_az: Frankly, someone steals your cash, you’re completely out of luck. I would say that the protection offered by credit cards is reason enough to solely use them…within reason, of course. :)

        • failurate says:

          @supercereal: Dave Ramsey, every time I hear him talk, I think of Clerks. Snowball.

          • audemars says:

            @jmndos: When I worked at BBY (many years ago) the new CC apps, whether approved or declined, were kept in a basket behind the returns counter. They were out of reach of other customers, but anybody in a blue polo could go back there and rifle through them, or take some if they were so inclined. I never understood why they weren’t more securely guarded.

      • chris_d says:

        @howie_in_az:
        The cash back is bullsh*t since credit card fees are driving up the price of everything. You don’t think merchants are going to eat the cost do you? Using the card might be costing 6 to 10 cents on the dollar (that’s .6 to .10 cents if you’re using Verizon Math) to the merchant who then raises prices and then you get 1 cent of that back.

    • AstraBabble says:

      @Allen Harkleroad: Amen! Cash is king.

  5. tailstoo says:

    I think this happens more often than retailers want you to think (4,000 is a lot, but in my 7 years working in retail, I know of it happening twice. One for a couple of hundred dollars, but another was over $50k).

  6. Meathamper says:

    Some Russian mobsters would love to get their hands on those numbers.

  7. Paladin_11 says:

    If yo haven’t already stopped using the electronic signature pads, do so now. Insist on paper receipts. Digitizing your legitimate signature along with your credit card info is a recipe for future fraud and loss.

    • icruise says:

      @Paladin_11: Nobody actually checks the signatures in any case, so I don’t see what difference it would make.

    • feline says:

      @Paladin_11: Or draw a penis instead of a signature? [www.drunkrepublic.com]

    • dvdchris says:

      @Paladin_11: That really isn’t practical at all. Retailers are not set up to easily accept a paper signature if the digital capture terminal is working. The manual option you mention would be the old credit card sliding metal thing that imprints THE ENTIRE CREDIT CARD NUMBER on every copy of the receipt. I’m not even sure where the legality stands on those things anymore.
      Your request would draw blank stares and the complete inability to do what you are asking from 95% of merchants who use digital capture terminals.

      • Ragman says:

        @dvdchris: No, they just print out a signature copy of the receipt and you sign that, just like they did after computer POS terminals and before digital capture terminals were everywhere. Digital capture terminals do break down.

        The only time they have to break out the manual slide is if the card reader isn’t working or the network is down. At the self checkouts in Walmart, they can transfer the purchase to the monitoring station and complete payment there. I’ve had that happen before due to problems with the touchpad terminal.

      • Sidecutter says:

        @dvdchris: That credit card sliding metal thing isn’t legal anymore precisely because it imprints the entire number, and I havn’t seen one in stores in ages.

        Modern terminals all have the option to print a paper reciept to be signed, largely to cover them in the times when a digital pad goes down.

  8. downwithmonstercable says:

    I don’t get how card readers work with open-faced (?) card machines work. I’ve only heard of readers where you slide your card into like an atm machine, where it physically goes inside. Does a machine where you just swipe look any different?

    • Outrun1986 says:

      @downwithmonstercable: Its called skimming, they pretend to drop your card, or do something else to create a diversion. This is when your card is read through the skimmer, which then beams the information to a computer outside of the store in someone else’s car for example. This is just one of the methods.

      Sometimes they might install a different reader or a “black box” on the reader, but this is kind of an old trick as a lot of people look for these things now. There is also one where they can install a small video camera over the keypad of an ATM machine to record your button presses to get your pin, but again a savvy person may be able to spot this camera. Skimming is more popular.

      Oftentimes when working register a customer will hand you their card since they do not know how to use the swipe card machine (this is like 90% of people I see paying at the register with a credit card). When they get the card in their hands, this is when it happens.

      Point: NEVER let that credit card leave your hands for ANY reason.

      Skimming is REALLY prevalent in the restaurant industry, because when paying for a meal you traditionally hand over your card and they walk it up to a register, they don’t even have to be slick about it in this case, because your essentially handing over your card to someone. Common sense says if your paying by credit card at a restaurant not to hand over your card to the waitress or waiter for any reason.

      Sometimes they are slick enough to memorize the number as well, this happened at a gas station here recently.

      • floraposte says:

        @Outrun1986: Are you simply saying “Don’t pay with a credit card”? Because I don’t see how people can pay at a restaurant with table service without handing their card over to the waitstaff. They don’t have swipe-it-yourself card pads.

  9. XTC46 says:

    This happens a lot. When I worked at CompUSA an employee got caught doing the same thing. She was a moron and was using her employee discount and got flagged becasue of the differnt cards being used (this gets flagged becasue it looks like you are using your discount for non employees)

    stealing info like this is too easy, and people are too stupid to notice.

  10. jmndos says:

    Ha, wow, she actually used a reader.

    I mean, seriously, the security at best buy is such a joke, that you could walk out with a box of over 500,000 records printed on that computer paper. They just store it in the back near the returned stuff. You can just walk out with it, credit card numbers, ccv and expiry dates and names are prominently displayed in full and unaltered form…

    • blkhrt1 says:

      @jmndos: The store in my town has the info locked in a safe in the cash office where all the stores money is kept. The only people who have the combo are the managers (which isn’t saying much, they could just as easily stolen information too)

      At least its LOCKED up tho.

    • dvdchris says:

      @jmndos: The entire credit card number is required by law to be truncated on every print copy generated in store. Are you telling us that Best Buy actually generates a print out of credit card transactions complete with number, in some back office?

  11. kwsventures says:

    Cash only. Game over.

  12. frodolives35 says:

    A few years I worked part time at a pizza place. A idiot waitress/cashier stole a cc number and ordered about $2000 worth of merch online sent to her home. The victim was the county prosecutor what a moron do not pass go she went to jail.

  13. ajlei says:

    Shouldn’t Best Buy be working with the credit card merchants to notify these customers themselves?

  14. elislider says:

    If the system best buy uses is anything like the system we had at compusa when i worked there at the tech counter, then its probabyly VERY easy to steal CC info. on the computers and on the system (accessable from any of the tech shop computers) were folders of excel forms with all the customer info on it for anyone who was checked out a loaner computer. This meant all i had to do if i wanted to steal the customer data was stick in my flash drive and drag over hundreds of customers info. this included name, address, credit card info (number, exp, ccv, bank type), and scanned images of their signatures.

  15. Derv says:

    @elislider: You should report this to CompUSA’s credit card processor. It is against the credit card merchant agreements to store the CVV number.

  16. mrm514 says:

    Unfortunately, the paper slips that print out at Best Buy include the full account number.

  17. Saboth says:

    I had my card number stolen a few years ago. The only place I had used it at recently was Best Buy. Of course the fraud investigators wouldn’t tell me what they found out, but my bet was a Best Buy cashier.

  18. johnfrombrooklyn says:

    I guess this dates me but I remember traveling across Greece using nothing but my father’s memorized credit card number. I’d go to a hotel, tell them the number, they would punch it into their machine, and I’d sign it.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I returned a hard drive to Best Buy this weekend, which was paid for on my debit card. The girl behind the return desk scanned the box and my receipt then started tapping on the card scanner that the customer uses to swipe their card when they pay for something. I looked at the screen, and she had tapped the Accept button to verify that my customer information was correct… except it wasn’t. Same name, but the address was in another state and it wasn’t my phone number. I called her out on it and she said “oh, yeah.. the computer brings up funny things sometimes”. She then declared that my refund would be in cash rather than going back on my debit card. Could have been an errror, might not have been, but it certainly set off my Spidey-sense.

  20. globalman says:

    it’s sad to say, but every time i use my check card i purposely watch to see if they do anything to it, especially at the fast food places. if they’re getting paid minimum wage, standing in front of a cold window all day, i’m sure this scheme runs through some of their minds.

  21. wellfleet says:

    As a BBY manager, I can tell you that the CC number does NOT print in full on your receipt, nor can anyone access that information, even in our program that controls the registers. When you apply for a BBY CC, you take the bottom half that contains all your personal information with you, so all we keep is your signature on the top half of the application as proof that you applied. The rest, name, address, social, goes with the applicant. Any personal customer info at my store goes directly into a Shred-It locked box.
    With 100,000 employees, many of which are part-time, to expect that 100% of them will not steal is frankly unrealistic. This is why we have a theft BUDGET.
    BBY.COM is letting people know, and are also working with the merchants and customers to notify as many people as possible.

  22. jswilson64 says:

    The BBY employee will be working as a hostess at Vesuvio before you know it.

  23. reiyano says:

    I would hold on to credit cards left by shoppers when I worked at compusa. I would always hand them their cards back but sometimes they would leave em on the counter after putting their purchases in their baskets. I always thought to myself “wow I could totally take this card” of coarse I’m no scumbag.

  24. wellfleet says:

    @mrm514…. Which part is wrong? We can no longer access any info on backoffice applications for whatever reason. The new CC forms have two halves, the bottom of which tears off for the customer to keep, and both our shredders are locked. While I appreciate the Spartan response, you may want to elaborate.
    I was recently a victim of CC fraud. Someone copied my card and went on a 9,000 dollar shopping spree. Some people suck. Mastercard got it taken care of immediately.

  25. FrankenPC says:

    A fraud detective once told me that this type of scam is impossible to detect if the robbers only use the batch of cards for about 5 days and walk away from the cards, the reader and the fake office never to return. Robbers are ALWAYS caught because their greed keeps them there too long.