Gas Station ATM/Card Reader Likely Rigged in New ID Theft Case

California's South Bay area is reeling from yet another wave of ID theft from ATM/card reader machines

Dark Reading Staff, Dark Reading

May 29, 2008

2 Min Read

Debit card customers in California’s South Bay area are again on alert after another wave of identity thefts that could be the result of a rogue card reader.

San Jose police are reportedly investigating whether the theft of identities of over 40 people who used their ATM cards to pay for gas at a local Arco station is related to that of the hundreds of customers at a Los Gatos Lunardi’s Supermarket last month. One of the grocery store’s ATM card readers was swapped with a rogue scanner in the checkout aisle, and the perpetrators used the credit card and PIN numbers to create temporary cards or to sell them to other bad guys, according to Los Gatos investigators. (See Supermarket ATM/Card Reader Rigged With Illicit Scanner .)

The U.S. Secret Service recently began investigating the Lunardi’s identity theft scam, according to reports, and San Jose authorities are now trying to determine if there’s a connection between the Lunardi’s scam and the Arco gas station incident, as well as with a similar incident at another Arco station last month.

After gaining the stolen ATM credentials in the latest scam, the thieves allegedly withdrew money from the victims’ bank accounts. Victims so far have reported over $30,000 in losses. And authorities expect additional victims.

“Definitely I want to get out to the victims," Jermaine Thomas of the San Jose Police Department told a local news station. "They probably don't know they've been a victim."

Two suspects were reportedly arrested in Southern California recently, but before local authorities there were alerted that the men were wanted in Santa Clara County, the two were released on bail.

— Kelly Jackson Higgins, Senior Editor, Dark Reading

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Dark Reading Staff

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