A German “computer whizz-kid” was arrested recently while attempting to transport the latest bank scamming technology into Britain.
The 26-year-old married father of two worked at various software companies worldwide, gathering the necessary technologies and components to create a card skimming device designed to replace the real point of sale devices at restaurants or other retail establishments.
In the United States, consumers often hand their credit cards over to waiters or waitresses, for example. A waiter disappears and comes back moments later with a receipt to be signed. Overseas, in Europe and other countries, portable point of sale (POS) devices allow the waiter to charge a credit card right at the table.
In Europe, credit cards use chip and PIN technology, following the global standard known as EMV, which stands for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa. This technology is more secure than regular magnetic stripe cards used in the United States. Nevertheless, the German credit card skimmer possessed 17 devices capable of skimming security and account details from chip and pin card readers.
What’s more, these skimming devices were equipped with wireless technology, which would allow the fraudster to access the stolencredit card data remotely. Had they been successfully implemented on ATMs and POS devices, identity theft criminals would have been able to receive victims’ banking details automatically on laptops or mobile phones up to 100 meters away.
This type of credit cardfraud already occurs in the United States in different forms, but online retailers can protect themselves from fraudulent transactions. If a customer’s PC, smartphone, or tablet indicates an abnormally high level of risk, the merchant can reject the purchase in advance. iovation, the global leader in device reputation, has blocked 35 million fraudulent online transactions in the last year.
Prevent credit card skimming and protect yourself from credit card fraud by checking your statements regularly.