Hotel Keycards Used As Credit Card Blanks For Stolen Numbers

from the no,-not-what-you're-thinking dept

The story about how hotels are putting your private info, including credit card data on the keycard used to open your room door has been proven as a myth many times over. It’s even gotten so bad, that hotels are looking at alternative technology, just so they can stop explaining to people that there’s no secret info on the keycards. Still, with that as background, it looks like some scammers are using hotel keycards — but not in the way commonly discussed in the urban legend above. Instead, they’re just using the keycards as if they were blank credit cards, allowing them to put stolen credit card info onto the cards. In other words, it’s not about getting the credit card info of people staying at hotels, but being able to quickly clone stolen credit card info for use in places where clerks are unlikely to look at the card being swiped (convenience stores, for instance). It’s kind of ingenious that criminals picked up on this — and apparently it took police a while to recognize what was going on. However, when every prostitute and drug addict they arrested seemed to have a pile of hotel keycards on them, they began to suspect something was up. It’s interesting to see this story come out on the same day as a study saying that credit card fraud is falling, mainly because of new security measures such as using smart chips and requiring the use of PINs to avoid fraud. It would seem that further use of both systems would effectively eliminate the use of hotel keycards as credit card blanks as well.

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Comments on “Hotel Keycards Used As Credit Card Blanks For Stolen Numbers”

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Mike (profile) says:

Re: hrm

Why would you need hotel keycards for blanks when you can buy blanks at ANY identification stores in bulk for cheap? Just search. You can also buy a printer for a few grand (it’s cheap enough so that any guy with a criminal mindset can buy).

I would imagine the point of this is that people are stealing the hotel keycards, or finding discarded ones… free is cheaper than “cheap.”

smart credit card user (user link) says:

For protection

When you use a credit card to make a purchase, keep visual contact with your credit card.
don’t give your credit card number over the phone.
Always check to make sure you receive your card back after you use it for a purchase.
If you loose your card call the credit card company emmediatly and give your name, address, and account number.
If your social security number was used fraudulently, report the problem to the Social Security Administration’s Fraud hotline at 800-269-0271.

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