Anecdotal Cameraphone Identity Thieves Plaguing Malls Again

from the cops-with-tinfoil-beanies dept

Just in time for Christmas, questionable stories about people stealing credit card numbers with cameraphones are back. Like all the others, the latest one, from Troy, Michigan, is short on facts, but long on conjecture. The police there warn people about the practice, but don't ever mention actually having any reports of it happening, just one complaint -- which they couldn't prove -- that a store clerk used a phone to snap a picture of a cash register screen that displayed a card number. They must not be all that concerned about it, in any case, because they also fail to mention what people can do to protect themselves, but maybe that's because there's really nothing to worry about.
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  • identicon
    Rikko, 23 Dec 2005 @ 8:38am

    No Subject Given

    "I like to be able to swipe the card myself, to keep it in my own hands," Schiller said. "The crooks always find new ways. If they put all that creativity to better use, imagine what could happen."

    Interesting. That's illegal in Canada (or at least part of the licensing agreement for having any CC service). Clerks have to swipe your credit card and remove it from your possession during the transaction so they can verify your signature and retain it if they suspect fraud.


    This whole scary story is stupid. Before camera phone there were spy cameras. They still work better than a grainy camera phone pic, and are used by smarter thieves. Anyone dumb enough to use their camera phone is probably too dumb to use the numbers in a cunning way and will be caught anyways.

    And the tellers taking pictures of screens... Are they joking? So what? If they have that access they can also write it down while a receipt is printing.

    I'm never one to blame a victim of any crime, but a lot of people who get suckered by really obvious and stupid scams (this is more the Nigerian scam and telephone fraud than a facade ATM card reader, but still) are really being done a favour by going through the treadmill once or twice.

    Maybe the cops need a new slogan on their cars: "Crime isn't ok. But neither is sitting back and letting it happen to you."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    haggie, 23 Dec 2005 @ 9:15am

    No Subject Given

    The most dangerous place to keep your credit card is in your pocket. Most improper usage comes from credit cards that are lost or stolen, not from overly elaborate schemes like this concocted by some desperate news editor to fill column inches or that last two minutes of the TV news report.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ryan, 23 Dec 2005 @ 9:16am

    No Subject Given

    Without card track data, the card number is pretty worthless.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    James Zane, 23 Dec 2005 @ 9:35am

    No Subject Given

    Someone 'stealing' your credit card number does not put you at risk. No issuer in the US or Canada will authorize a transaction with the number alone. Or even the number and the expiration date. They verify a number of data keys before authorizing transactions. Stupid 'journalists'.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Oliver Wendell Jones, 23 Dec 2005 @ 10:08am

      Re: No Subject Given

      Give me your credit card # and expiration date then... oh, and be sure to check your bill at the end of the month.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Dec 2005 @ 10:40am

      Re: No Subject Given

      Guess you never worked in retail.

      When you type in the # you have to verify the # of the address where the bank statement goes. Some places (monstly online transactions) require the 3 digit number on the back of the card.

      You can dupe a card's magnetic information just by swiping the info into a reader, recording it to disk and recreating it later. It's been done many times and the palmpilot has made that possible in at least one case I know of.

      So..
      nyah to you goobacheew

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Devin, 23 Dec 2005 @ 11:56am

        Re: No Subject Given

        I do work in retail. I work in customer relations in a call center and at my work there is one system that doesn't need a name or address or anything. If I get the CC # and the expiration date the transaction will go through the computer. We of course verify address and name (not sercurity digits on back) but it isn't required. Until CC companies/Banks up security and require this information in order to accept the charge people will be at risk. We take American Express, Discover, Visa, and Mastercard and none have any problem making the charge with ONLY # and expiration date.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Gummy Tummy, 23 Dec 2005 @ 10:10am

    No Subject Given

    It's amazing how easy it would be to get credit card data. Some vendors don't use the security number on the back of the card; I can think of a number of airlines for example. If I'm not mistaken Amazon doesn't require the number for purchases either.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    j, 23 Dec 2005 @ 10:23am

    No Subject Given

    Interesting that so many people doubt this. My camera phone zooms in, and with the excellent photo programs out on the market today... and the fact that many phones now take video not just still pictures. Just a thought to consider.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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