TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Debit Card Fraud a Growing Problem

Debit Card Fraud a Growing Problem

Monty Solomon (
Thu, 17 Mar 2005 22:16:08 -0500

By Beverley Wang, Associated Press Writer | March 17, 2005

CONCORD, N.H. -- The recent theft of thousands of dollars from people
who used their debit cards at a Manchester ATM is one type of identity
theft becoming more common as consumers increasingly rely on
electronic transactions.

The crime known as "card skimming" takes three steps:

Using scanners placed over ATM card slots, thieves steal account
information stored on a debit card's magnetic strip. A dummy number
pad, camera or stealthy glance over a customer's shoulder captures the
PIN. Those who know where to look can easily find Web sites that sell
blank magnetic cards and card-printing machines.

"It's a very popular type of crime these days," said Connie Stratton,
a senior assistant attorney general in New Hampshire's consumer
protection bureau. "Cards are simple to make," she said. "You can buy
bundles of cards on the Internet -- you can buy them with the
electronic strip on them, you can buy them with the strip not on them
-- there are a number of varieties."

In the most recent cases, two women who used a Bank of America ATM at
the T.J. Maxx plaza on Monday reported having money withdrawn without
their knowledge at a Saugus, Mass., ATM on Tuesday. One woman said
$4,500 was taken from her account, another said $1,900 was taken.

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