Scammers replace credit card readers in Irish stores

Fraudsters posing as authorized bank service personnel replaced credit card readers in retailers stores' in northeast Ireland with their own.

Fraudsters in northeast Ireland posing as authorized bank service personnel replaced credit card readers in retailers' stores with their own, capturing data that can be used to empty bank accounts and make purchases.

As many as 10,000 credit and debit cards may have been compromised by the time authorities became aware of the scam late last week, said Jennie Chamberlaine, marketing manager for the Irish Payment Services Organization, on Monday.

Those whose details have been stolen will be notified by banks, and it is possible card details have already been used for fraud Chamberlaine said.

Financial institutions such as the Bank of Ireland reacted by shutting down some cards while also limiting overseas withdrawals to as little as Euro 100 (US$169). An investigation is under way by Ireland's National Police Service. Few other details were immediately available.

Overseas withdrawals are limited because the scammers can take the data they've captured from the magnetic stripe on the back of the card and encode it on a dummy card. That card can then be used to withdraw cash overseas.

The scammers can't take out cash at ATMs in Europe that use the "chip-and-pin" system. European credit and debit cards have an embedded microchip that is checked at the ATM; cards that should have the chip but don't are rejected. Criminals have yet to successfully replicate those microchips.

The chip-and-pin system also requires a PIN (personal identification number) to be entered during a purchase rather a customer signature as is accepted in the U.S. and many other countries.

The European system has caused a marked dropped in fraudulent transactions from lost and stolen cards, but resulted in an interesting change in fraud.

Chip-and-pin's greatest weakness is the lack of its worldwide use. Criminals now clone cards and go to countries that don't have ATMs that verify the presence of the microchip, fueling a transnational trade in credit and debit card details.

Chip-and-pin also doesn't affect "card not present" fraud, where data is used to make online purchases. That data is often captured through phishing, or frauds where a fake Web site is built in order to trick people into divulging sensitive information.

"Card fraud has tended to move to the weakest link," Chamberlaine said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?