Credit and debit card skimming has been happening for several years now. It has evolved over time from dishonest employees skimming your cards at your favorite stores and restaurants, to more sophisticated means – such as attaching skimming devices to ATM machines and the lock systems that allow you access to the ATMs.
It is well known that purchasing gas is one of the first things someone does with a stolen or fraudulent card, because typically there are no cameras and human intervention over the use of the card. It either works at the pump to buy gas, or it doesn’t. If it works, a minimal amount is purchased, and then the card is used for the real fraudulent purchases.
Skimming moved into the world of gas pumps, and appeared in articles as far back as 2008. Identity and credit thieves attach card capturing devices into gas pumps, capturing each customer’s credit or debit card information, and transmit the card information via wireless/cellular to a nearby conspirator receiving the information on their cell phone – each customer unaware their card has been jeopardized, as the devices are installed inside the pumps.
Skimming has become so sophisticated that card information is available to the thieves almost instantaneously to their unlawful skimming, commonly transmitted to a nearby cell phone.
In a recent ad I noticed yesterday, Apple’s iPhones now have an app available to swipe, capture and charge credit or debit cards right through the iPhone.
Provided it hasn’t already been discovered and used, it’s just a matter of time that the thieves will migrate to this technology, capturing the unsuspecting customer’s card information via a swipe on their iPhone, and simply press the send button to transmit the stolen information to their co-conspirator making up fraudulent cards using customer information.
Isn’t technology just wonderful?