On October 26, the police in Clarkton, NC reported catching a duo of criminals trying to withdraw money with cloned credit cards from a local ATM. The State Employees Credit Union aided in the arrest by informing local authorities about suspicious activities involving fake cards on their ATMs. Earlier that day, the two men managed to withdraw funds from another local ATM.
The police captured the two men in a hotel in Conway, South Carolina. Both suspects are in the Bladen County Jail under a $1,000,000 bond. Sources surmise that there would be state and potentially federal charges pressed before the case is closed according to local sources.
During the search of the hotel room, Sheriff McVicker claimed that investigators found more than 326 cloned cards, a card skimming device, four portable computers, over $7,000 in U.S. currency, and more than $30,000 in foreign money.
Interestingly, most of the credit cards found in their hotel room came from Europe, meaning their identities were traced to European citizens.
After these developments came to light, the local law enforcement authorities admitted they did not have resources to keep investigating the case and contacted the Secret Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for help.
This recent case brings credit card fraud and identity theft back in the limelight, especially after recent developments involving Sonic and Equifax. There are plenty of ways to steal credit card information, but one of the scariest methods is done virtually.
There’s quite an incentive for professional hackers to collect someone’s identity through the internet. When a wrongdoer hacks a company, such as Target or Equifax, and steals consumer data, including credit cards of all sorts and other personal information, they can sell it on the black market for significant profit. Oftentimes, this results in millions of breaches.
According to a recent study by Pew Research Institute, 41% of the Americans have experienced fraudulent charges on their credit cards. Furthermore, Statista estimated that losses from counterfeit payment cards were $3 billion in 2014. There are plenty of scams to watch out for, and there are some pretty creative schemes out there.
At any rate, credit card companies have reacted in kind. In the event of a breach, many of them offer free credit monitoring services to help consumers combat potential identity theft and fraudulent charges to their accounts. Additionally, EMV chip credit and debit cards are out in force, helping consumers stay protected on a transaction-to-transaction basis.
Author: Mike Brown
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