Buying A Stolen Credit Card Is Like Picking Out Candy

NPR shows just how easy it is for crooks to buy thousands of stolen credit card numbers and convert them into useable credit cards using a simple desktop setup.

An FBI agent walks them through a website that’s basically an eBay for stolen credit card numbers. In order to get access, he had to provide two existing members with two different files of 50 credit card numbers and get them to write a positive review of how well they worked.

Once inside, he could buy and sell thousands of credit card numbers in the blink of an eye. After buying the number, it was a snap to get it onto a working credit card and go on a Toys R’ Us style mad dash with a shopping cart spree.

The central device is a swipe gadget that reads and writes to any magnetic card strip called the MSR-206. A quick search showed it available from a multitude of online retailers for under $600.

Just incredible. In order to make an instrument that’s easy for everyone to use, the credit card companies have also created a financial access tool that’s also very easy to steal. It’s scary how easy it is for your credit card number to be stolen, resold, and embedded on a new card, and how little credit card companies are doing to stop it. For them, the profits of having a really easy card more than offset the credit card theft losses. Good for them, but a maddening hassle for the consumer who has to dispute the charges and clean up their ruined credit.

How To Buy A Stolen Credit Card [NPR: Planet Money]