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Restaurant credit card fraud


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View Poll Results: Select those options that apply wrt your use of credit cards.
Yes, I may think twice before using my credit card in restaurants from now on. 3 13.04%
No, I will continue to use my credit card in restaurants without worrying. 16 69.57%
I may start paying with cash in restaurants. 4 17.39%
I may use my 'credit' card in restaurants, but 'not' my debit card. 5 21.74%
I have never experienced fraudulent use of my credit information. 15 65.22%
I *have* had problems with credit card fraud. 2 8.70%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 23. You may not vote on this poll

Restaurant credit card fraud
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Windswept
On Pacific time
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Moderator's Pub
 
2007-04-22, 15:15

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/04/21/new....ap/index.html

Quote:
NEW YORK (AP) -- The diners didn't know it, but their credit cards were going to pay for more than their meals, prosecutors said.

Waiters in about 40 restaurants, in New York and elsewhere, quietly recorded customers' credit card information and passed it on to people who used the information to make more than $3 million worth of worth of illegal purchases, according to prosecutors.

Thirteen people were indicted Friday on charges stemming from their roles in the credit card fraud, prosecutors said.

The credit card account information was stolen from customers who visited restaurants in Manhattan's Chinatown and other parts of the New York metropolitan area, as well eateries in Florida, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Some members of the group stole customers' information; some made the counterfeit cards; others shopped for merchandise; and finally someone bought the goods for cash, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said.

When the 35-year-old ringleader was arrested Wednesday, Morgenthau said, police found 296 fake credit cards, $200,000 in cash, numerous Rolex watches and expensive handbags in his Brooklyn home.

The district attorney said conspiracy leaders recruited and managed people who worked as waiters and provided them with small, hand-held "skimmers" that read and recorded information on the magnetic strips of patrons' credit cards.

The leaders, some of whom worked in the restaurants with their recruits, then collected the skimming devices and paid the waiters $35 to $50 for information from each credit card stored in the devices, Morgenthau said.

He said the conspirators operated from November 2005 until this week.

The suspects used the stolen information to create counterfeit credit cards by encoding the information on high-quality credit card blanks, Morgenthau said.
Will this kind of fraud make you think twice about using your credit card at restaurants (or even other places) in the future?

I think the fact that waiters take your card 'away', out of your view (to carry out transactions to pay for your meal), makes restaurants particularly easy venues for the sort of fraud where card information is stolen with 'skimmers' and then used to make fake cards later.

Honestly, I know *I* am having second thoughts about using my card in restaurants after reading this story. What a pain.

I suppose if one wanted to continue using cards in restaurants, it would be better to use 'credit' rather than 'debit' cards, so that fraudulent purchases could be covered by the credit card company. With debit cards, you'd just be out of luck, right?

God, I despise thieves SO effing much!

Poll up in a few minutes.



PS - Has your credit card ever been used fraudulently?
  quote
Moogs
Hates the Infotainment
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: NSA Archives
 
2007-04-22, 15:29

Yah I heard about a similar story a few months ago on the radio. Definitely gives a person pause. I almost always pay with my credit card. I guess you have to be picky about where you pay with a cc.

Definitely a great reason to check your account activity more than once a month. My card company has notified me a fews times when I made purchases in areas or at merchants where I had never shopped before. At least there's that line of defense for some people.

...into the light of a dark black night.
  quote
Banana
is the next Chiquita
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
 
2007-04-22, 15:32

I've seen a charge on my debit card which couldn't have been mine as I wasn't even near anywhere that place that day. A call to a bank, and everything was alright; they will mail me an affdavit denying that I made those charges.

So I presume debit card may have some protection at least.

But the safest thing to do in a restaurant would be when you get the recipt, get up and pay at the counter. That way you get to keep your sight on the card for the transaction.
  quote
Mugge
Thunderbolt, fuck yeah!
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Denmark
 
2007-04-22, 15:37

Actually I don't have a credit card, despite that I travel a lot and also have been cheated once.

I think I'll get a credit-card before going anywhere again.
  quote
Windswept
On Pacific time
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Moderator's Pub
 
2007-04-22, 15:48

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moogs View Post

Definitely a great reason to check your account activity more than once a month. My card company has notified me a fews times when I made purchases in areas or at merchants where I had never shopped before. At least there's that line of defense for some people.
Yes, definitely will try to check my accounts at least once a week. SO nice to be able to do that online.

Yeah, I've had someone from the credit card company call to check on my account activity at least twice. I really appreciated it.

However, at first I couldn't help being suspicious about whether 'they' were who they said they were. But since 'they' were able to 'tell me' about all the transactions I had made over the past two days, I figured they were legit. I didn't tell 'them' anything but my verification answers.

Does anyone here buy credit insurance, or those monthly plans that monitor credit card accounts for fraud? I've 'thought' about it; but it just seems like it's one more place where people are given access to one's personal information. That aspect makes me uncomfortable.

I keep seeing tv ads for hotels.com, and can't help remembering that their computer systems were illegally accessed, and hackers were able to obtain the personal info for thousands of people who had used hotels.com for vacation planning.

I know *I* wouldn't trust them with my credit info, though they probably have good security now.

My brother's card number was stolen by a clerk at an auto supply store. It was used later to buy $70 worth of home delivery pizza by someone who signed the name 'Maria'.
  quote
Bryson
Rocket Surgeon
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Whitby
 
2007-04-22, 16:10

It makes me very, very irritated when waiters take your card away, for exactly this reason. In France, where they've had chip and pin for a lot longer than we have, they seem to train their waiters and shop staff better. They bring the machine to you, and in many cases, refuse to even touch your card, making you put it in the machine and never walking off with it.
  quote
Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2007-04-22, 16:26

This is nothing new. People have been stealing credit card information for years. Yet another article stating the obvious by the Associated Press isn't going to change my habits.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
  quote
Windswept
On Pacific time
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Moderator's Pub
 
2007-04-22, 16:42

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryson View Post
It makes me very, very irritated when waiters take your card away, for exactly this reason. In France, where they've had chip and pin for a lot longer than we have, they seem to train their waiters and shop staff better. They bring the machine to you, and in many cases, refuse to even touch your card, making you put it in the machine and never walking off with it.
Wow. That's very interesting about procedures in France!

There must have been some past fraud scandals that caused them to resort to these super-cautious methods, don't you think?

When you say "bring you the machine", do you mean those old machines that imprint the card number onto paper slips with carbon copies? Or do you mean an electronic device, hooked up to the credit card system by an extra LONG cable? Or do they use some kind of 'wireless' card reader (which wouldn't seem all that secure to me)?

With regard to those slips with carbon copies (iirc), boxes full of used credit card slips were found in a dumpster outside of a local chain store a few years ago. It was appalling. I just remembered that incident. Guess I won't be shopping at 'that' store anytime soon.
  quote
murbot
Mammogram Tech
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Canada
 
2007-04-22, 16:47

Those wireless things aren't common there? Our pizza guys in town have wireless devices that you use on your doorstep for debit or credit card use.

If someone is dedicated enough to be behind my house intercepting the signals, he deserves a few bucks. Not like I won't get it back anyway.

  quote
Naderfan
Queen of Confrontation
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Ohio
 
2007-04-22, 16:50

No matter what, there will always be people who steal credit card information. The only way to be completely secure is to have cash only, hidden in your mattress.

I've heard stories like these from all sorts of places: Restaurants, department stores, book stores, etc. I check my statements online at least once a week, if not more, just to make sure nothing is out of order, but I'm not going to change my shopping habits just because of a few bad apples out there. And at least with my credit cards, if something does happen, the company helps you out.
  quote
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
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2007-04-22, 16:54

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moogs View Post
Definitely a great reason to check your account activity more than once a month.
That's pretty much all there is to say about it. Do exhaustive accounting, and call your credit card company when something seems awry. It's their promise (and therefore, their job) that they'll cover it.

Credit card fraud does happen a lot, but as long as you keep track of how you use your money, you actually don't have all that much to worry about.
  quote
Bryson
Rocket Surgeon
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Whitby
 
2007-04-22, 16:58

Aye, wireless. In smaller places they're based on DECT phones. In larger places, I believe they are encrypted wi-fi.
  quote
chucker
 
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2007-04-22, 17:00

If I'm not mistaken, Apple Stores have been using such wireless equipment for a while now, no?
  quote
thegelding
feeling my oats
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2007-04-22, 17:02

funny, my wife and i were just out at lunch today and the place brings the card swipe to you, so your card never leaves your hand. they had signs on all the tables telling you not to give your card to anybody and that instead the server brings the swipe machine to to and you add the tip and put in the total and nobody can mess with your account that way...guess they are jumping on this before it is a problem

g

crazy is not a rare human condition

everything is food if you chew hard enough
  quote
Windswept
On Pacific time
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Moderator's Pub
 
2007-04-22, 17:03

Quote:
Originally Posted by murbot View Post
Those wireless things aren't common there? Our pizza guys in town have wireless devices that you use on your doorstep for debit or credit card use.

If someone is dedicated enough to be behind my house intercepting the signals, he deserves a few bucks. Not like I won't get it back anyway.

To my knowledge, I've never signed for a credit purchase on a wireless device.

But maybe that's partly because I've always paid the pizza delivery guy with cash.


Speaking of cash, has anyone noticed lately that a lot of American paper currency just seems *really* grungy? Ugh. So many bills seem filthy and on the verge of disintegration.

If you happen to know that 60% of the currency is contaminated with E. coli bacteria, that makes handling those beat-up bills even ickier.

And, no, I'm not an obsessive 'neat-freak' type of person. I just don't remember American currency being quite this grungy in past years. Maybe it always 'was' though, and somehow I just never noticed.

I 'have' noticed that I always get the grungiest change from McDonald's. Just one more reason not to go there, I guess.
  quote
cosus
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2007-04-22, 17:04

Regardless, every time I have had fraud on my credit card (which was once), they have credited the money back to my account, called me and cancelled my credit card. They have never held me responsible for the fraudulent charges.

Retired 8 years ahead of schedule.
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