Three Men Arrested In Heartland Data Breach For Using Fake Visa Gift Cards

The U.S. Secret Service has arrested three men in Florida on “hundreds of counts of credit card fraud” for using fake gift cards imprinted with account info stolen from Heartland Payment Systems last year. The Secret Service still thinks an Eastern European group is behind the Heartland breach, and that the Florida guys are smaller-time crooks who most likely purchased a subset of the stolen data.

One thing that’s new about the case is the use of Visa gift cards—they’re easy to shoplift, and then the stolen account info can be encoded onto the magnetic strip on the back. It’s also harder to catch fraudulent use via gift card, and there are fewer ID restrictions. The men were caught because they used the stolen data for too long and it began to go bad—near the end, Walmart’s system was catching and flagging accounts that had already been deactivated, which was what alerted them to the fraud.

“First Heartland Arrests, With New Twist To Bogus Gift Card Scheme” [StorefrontBacktalk]
(Photo: ToOb)


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  1. Warll says:

    Ah so thats why…

  2. aguacarbonica says:

    Why are criminals not more paranoid? I don’t understand how they go about using all this stolen crap and not feeling remotely concerned after months that they are going to be tracked down. Maybe they don’t get the technology.

    • Slow2Whine says:

      @aguacarbonica: Actually, I remembered reading an article from January 09 Wired magazine about a busted CC fraud ring. This guy had actually had set up a site where you could buy all sorts of stuff related to ID theft.

      I’m thinking that they criminal buyers probably didn’t know that the account info was old enough to be flagged, and probably bought it cheap or got duped into paying for something they thought was acquired recently.

  3. gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

    walmart win?
    i think this has got to be a first.

  4. OggJoshua says:

    The Eastern Europeans merely have an improper subset of the stolen data!

  5. MikeF74 says:

    This must be why a $50 Babies-R-Us gift card we received in September had a zero balance when we tried to use it.

  6. Ronin-Democrat says:

    OK crims what you do is, go in as a pair and pretend that one of you gave the other the card as a birthday or work reward gift. Buy big and get the f out of dodge.
    Leave a bit of cash on the card and drop it 3 months later where some doofus will find it and use it thereby taking the scent off of you because the video will have been wiped clean from your victim’s security system.
    God criminals are stupid.
    wipe the card down before you throw it away. finger prints are how the secret service convict money counterfeiters

  7. Odaecom says:

    Just got a replacement debit card from my credit union, they cited the Heartland data breach as why they replaced it.