Two Men Arrested For Using Credit Card Numbers Stolen From Target

While most ID thieves are wisely staying away from the more than 100 million credit and debit card numbers compromised by the recent data breach of Target’s in-store payment processing system, two Mexican citizens apparently thought they could get away with using some of these leaked numbers to make illegal purchases.

The AP reports that the two men from Monterrey, 27 and 28 years old, were arrested at the border crossing near McAllen, TX, over the long weekend. They had used card information taken from the Target breach to buy several thousand dollars’ worth of items at stores like Best Buy, Walmart, and Toys R Us.

Police say the Target customers’ whose card information was used to make these purchases were from the same area of Texas that the two suspects did their shopping in.

“They’re obviously selling the data sets by region,” said the police chief in McAllen.

The bogus purchases began on Jan. 12, say the police, who confirmed with the Secret Service that the cards used during this shopping spree were from the Target hack.

Police looked through retailers’ security footage to identify the pair using the fake cards and eventually identified their vehicle. When the twosome attempted to cross the U.S./Mexico border, via the Anzalduas International Bridge, in that same car on Sunday, they were arrested. Authorities say the men had 96 fake credit cards on them at the time.

It’s not known if this is the first arrest made related to the Target data breach, but officials tell the AP that these two men appear to be unrelated to the actual hack.

Target referred questions about the arrest to local authorities.

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  1. KyMann says:

    The people who did the hack don’t care — they got their money selling the info. If anything, it draws in new customers — these guys got caught because they did several stupid things. News reports confirming you can use the cards and not be caught for several days will give slightly smarter people confidence they can get away with it.

    As much as I hate thieves (I’d go Old Testament on them, chopping off their hands as a warning to others), it’s really Target who bears the most blame — the possibility for this type of attack was well-documented for at least 18 months, and they did nothing to stop it.