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February 17,2009

  • CC and ID Theft 2009, Pt.1
      New and improved ‘tools of the trade'.

    The Feds have just cracked, what is deemed to be, "the largest credit card fraud bust in American history." Forty million of one of our most closely-held possessions in the hands of 11 thieves. Smarter rats require better rat traps. It's another year and, sure enough, the credit card and ID-stealing rats are becoming more of a nuisance. Credit card and ID fraud are evolutionary and, just like other evolutions, whatever adapts thrives and what doesn't, dwindles away. The new vogue in credit card thievery is to reprogram gift cards with your card number and expiration date. They are safer as they usually don't require ID, PINs nor CVV2 numbers that are much harder to steal (and gift cards much cheaper to re-produce). So, many of the techniques listed below will use this form and only require your card number and expiration date.

    So, here is an update that addresses some of the newer schemes the credit card and ID-thieving rats are employing today:

    1) Change of address: This is one of the more successful tactics that is rising in popularity among credit card thieves. Some times they try and find a way to re-route your credit card billing address to a safe Post Office Box where they can collect your statements in a more safe manner. That way, if a card holder isn't paying close attention, months can go by and the thief continually runs up charges while not raising suspicion. A more brutish method for a one-time sting is to route all your mail by filling out a standard form at the post office. Of course, this is noticed within a short time so, the thief has to ‘get in and get out' quickly.

    2) Stealing wallets and purses: This practice is neither new nor up-and-coming but continues to enjoy great success in term of evolution. With the credit card in hand, complete with CVV2 and all kinds of ID, the thieves have all they need but, must work fast. Their ‘cover-time' is short. An evolutional innovation is to only steal the credit card and a lesser-missed form of ID. This method usually buys more time because the theft is not always caught right away. Usually not for hours or days. The victim may spend some time in search, believing they simply misplaced those items.

    Continued...
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