There’s potential good news out of Safeway: while the company confirmed that they found skimmers in credit card payment terminals in two states, a spokesperson says that the baddies didn’t harvest any customer data from the stores in California. Instead, the grocer found them back in September while inspecting terminals. While it’s good news that customers didn’t walk up to an ATM only to find their bank accounts drained, it’s still worrisome that someone was able to install the skimmers in the first place. [More]
It’s a really great idea to try to prevent people from skimming credit cards at ATMs and gas pumps with anti-theft stickers –Â but the first important step? You gotta put the sticker in the right spot. Shell failed at this back in October, and it appears it’s still totally clueless when it comes to sticker placement.
Last month, we wrote about the new-ish practice of slapping stickers on gas pumps to prevent credit card skimmers. But someone at this Shell station seemed to have missed the point of the sticker completely. [More]
As gas stations with pay-at-the pump, ATMs and other unattended machines where you scan your credit card get hit by skimmers tampering with their equipment, some businesses are taking preventative measures by way of a simple sticker.
A waitress at a Port Richey, FL, restaurant was recently arrested for allegedly using a credit card skimmer to steal customers’ information for the purposes of creating bogus cards. But, she tells the police, the customers she cheated were not nice to her anyway.
LiveLeak has posted surveillance video footage from earlier this month of a guy in Brazil installing a skimming device onto a bank ATM. The second half of the tape shows him being arrested and officials revealing the device, which just reminds us that the next time we use an ATM, we’re first going to take off a shoe and hit everything on it like it’s covered in giant ants. See the video below.
Just when you thought that you and your ATM card data were safe from criminal eyes, Scientific American brings a different sort of threat. This time, the skimmers are inside the machine. Malware within the ATM itself harvests enough data to do some very bad things.
Four Romanian nationals in Florida have been charged in a series of ATM skimmer frauds that targeted banks in New York City, Cicero (near Syracuse), NY, and Rochester, NY. They are charged with, among other things, aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit credit card fraud. According to the Syracuse office of the Secret Service, they stole $1.8 million overall.
Between 1992 and 2003, Citibank operated an “automatic sweeping” program that would without notice remove positive balances from customers’ credit card accounts—mainly those of the poor and the recently deceased—and pocket the money. Now it’s paying back $14 million dollars to the affected customers, plus another $3.5 million in penalties to California, thanks to that state’s Attorney General.
Redbox rents DVD movies via vending machine in drugstores and supermarkets throughout the country, and on Friday they announced that they’d found credit card skimmers attached to three of their kiosks. What’s surprising is that they ‘fessed up so quickly, and in a highly public manner—they’ve got the text “SECURITY ALERT” at the top and bottom of their website, and the email they sent to their members is detailed, forthright, and helpful, and reposted in its entirety—along with photos of sample card skimmers—on their site. Attempts at identity theft no longer surprise us, but a competent handling of the issue by a company is pretty amazing.
Crafty identity thieves attached a credit card skimming device to a DVD kiosk at a Colorado Safeway. The 2-inch skimming device was discovered only after a customer asked a Safeway employee for help after his card wouldn’t scan.
Portable credit card readers have the potential to make your dining experience safer and faster. The portable readers make it unnecessary for customers to hand over their credit cards, preventing waiters from stealing personal information with skimming devices. Up to 70% of skimming scams take place in restaurants.
Pay-at-the-table systems are popular in Europe and other parts of the world, but they haven’t yet caught on in the U.S., largely because equipment makers have been unable to point to a reason restaurateurs should invest in the gear.
Why do we suddenly want to watch The Departed? Anyway, after talking with the detective the Today show set up their own skimming operation in Times Square. Just about 1/2 of the people who used the ATM fell for a skimming box located just outside the door where the swipe pad that unlocks the door would normally be. Sad.—MEGHANN MARCO
Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do except watch your credit card statement and report any suspicious transactions as soon as possible. — BEN POPKEN