Theives now using hand-crafted credit cards

Theives now using hand-crafted credit cards - http://www.oregonlive.com Avatar Posted by LeeAdams under Finance
From http://www.oregonlive.com 4814 days ago
Made Hot by: on April 17, 2008 9:45 pm
Welcome to the world of "credit card shaving." Like mathematicians searching for the right formula, thieves painstakingly try out combinations of 16 digits until they come up with a series that fits someone's card number. They grab gift cards found in most grocery stores and craft their own credit card or debit card -- shaving numbers off the gift cards with razor blades and gluing the right sequence onto a stolen bank card or a bank-issued gift card.

"People don't understand it. They're scratching their heads. 'Nobody stole my mail. There was no burglary.' Their credit card number is being used, but their card is still in their purse or wallet," says Portland Officer Barbara Glass. "Most victims are spun-out worried, looking for some conspiracy clue. But it's just dumb luck they got hit."

The Identity Theft Assistance Center, based in Washington, D.C., wasn't aware of the scheme. But Joseph LaRocca, the National Retail Federation's vice president of loss prevention, says the scam has surfaced before throughout the country.

Investigators say credit card shavers test a 16-number sequence either by trying to make a purchase online or by calling a verification number the way merchants do.

The scammers then scratch up the new card's magnetic strip so a store clerk has to enter the numbers manually, what's called "forcing a transaction."

Many of the self-made cards look as if they've been through a clothes dryer. "At first, I couldn't believe that merchants would take that stuff," says Glass' partner, Officer Dave Staab.





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