Hot on HuffPost Tech:

See More Stories
AOL Tech

How Thieves Make Fake Credit Cards

Thieves Utilize Gift Card Magstripe Writer
Tech-savvy thieves have found a new way to commit credit card fraud by altering the data stored in magnetic strips on valid gift and credit cards.

This new "magstripe scam" has likely not become very widespread, as altering a card's magentic strip data is very difficult. Special equipment is required to read and alter the strips and thieves must break a security code on the card itself and then defeat an automated system that watches for suspicious cards and activity.

Recently, a man was arrested at a mall restaurant in Edmonton, Canada. In his possession were thumb drives and computer printouts filled with credit card account data stolen from hundreds of U.S. and Canadian customers. Several prepaid gift cards issued by Visa and MasterCard as well as a device for embedding data on a magstripe were also found.

This follows the exposure of a Miami fraud ring in which six men used counterfeit credit cards to buy Wal-Mart gift cards. The men then used the cards to purchase $1 million in items at Sam's Club, a subsidiary of Wal-Mart.

New contact-less payment systems based on RFID tags are said to be more secure (check our post about e-passports for that one), but the standard magstripe will likely be in use for several more decades.

From USA Today

Related links:

Tags: features



Add your comments

Please keep your comments relevant to this blog entry. Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments.

When you enter your name and email address, you'll be sent a link to confirm your comment, and a password. To leave another comment, just use that password.

To create a live link, simply type the URL (including http://) or email address and we will make it a live link for you. You can put up to 3 URLs in your comments. Line breaks and paragraphs are automatically converted — no need to use <p> or <br /> tags.