Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Scammers Skim Your Data While You Eat!

Notes taken by: Theresa Payton, Fortalice, LLC. Also featured in WBTV's segment, Protecting Your Cyberturf, with Kristen Miranda and Theresa Payton

We have warned you before to watch for skimmers at the ATM or gas pumps. Those little devices criminals add on that you almost can’t see and the device silently steals your credit or debit card data. Well there’s a new twist tonight and you’ll be surprised to learn how high tech meets low tech in this latest scam.

We have talked about how sophisticated technology is becoming and it all fits in the palm of your hand. But when you go to a trusted place, like a restaurant, you expect the staff to treat your card with great care but what happens when hand held technology is placed in the hands of bad guys and unwitting wait staff? Well over 50 diners found out the hard way in New York when various locales were hit by cybercriminals. Cyber expert, Theresa Payton, describes what happened.

1. Cybercriminal convinced someone on the inside to use hand held skimmers -- the devices were only 3 inches long!
2. Some wait staff claimed they were told to do this extra step and had no idea why
3. Cybercriminals collected all the information they needed via the skimmers
4. They used it to steal money from bank accounts and to make high dollar purchases by forging all the information onto duplicate forged cards

1. Chip and pin cards are hard to counterfeit - ask your card company if they offer this option
2. Avoid using the debit card at restaurants where you lose sight of your card
3. Ask if you can pay at the front
4. Keep your card limits low to make your card a less attractive target
5. Memorize the 3 digit number on the back of the card and then draw over it with a sharpie to make it more difficult to counterfeit your card credentials

BUFFY: This is the code name for the alleged phone being created by Facebook. Nicknamed for Buffy the Vampire and a play on the words “Social Layer”...Slayer. The rumor says that Facebook and HTC have joined forces to develop an Android based phone. It hasn’t been confirmed yet by HTC or Facebook...stay tuned!

1. Contact your card company to alert them so you will not be liable for charges. Ask them to cancel and reissue you a new card with a new account number.
2. After you contact your card company, contact to sign up for your free annual credit report. It will send it to you from all three credit bureaus.
3. Contact your local law enforcement to alert them.
4. For tips on how to protect your credit, check out tips at the Scam Busters site:

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