Believe it or not, we discovered that credit card fraud in restaurants is easier that you thought. You can easily become a victim, even if you use a chip card. Here is one way, according to Eater, how restaurant credit card fraud happens:
“Basically, it’s when a someone steals another person’s credit card information intentionally to use for fraudulent purposes,” says Misty Carter, research specialist for the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.
There are a couple of ways credit card fraud can occur at a restaurant:
Skimmer: “A skimmer is a small device that attaches to a reader,” says Yinzhi Cao, an assistant professor of computer science and engineering at Lehigh University. “When a credit card is swiped, the skimmer captures the magnetic field, and then collects it, saving the data of everyone who swipes.”
While skimmers are most often used at ATMs and gas stations, they’ve been used at restaurants before (like in the New York case mentioned above). “It’s starting to become more prevalent at restaurants,” Carter says. “Usually it’s the waitstaff — they get your credit card, and they have skimmers that are so small they can be held in the palm of your hand.”
When a diner hands the server her credit card, the server will swipe it through the restaurant’s own point-of-sale system and then through a skimmer, which records the credit card number. “A lot of times, there’s an organized crime ring behind it all,” Carter says. “Usually, the waitstaff would just be a part of the larger ring.”
In other words, if your credit card number is stolen at a restaurant, it likely isn’t because of one fraudulent server, but an entire ring of credit card thieves. Carter says that servers in these scenarios usually get paid based on how many card numbers they steal. Once the ringleader gets a hold of the credit card number, they can take a gift card from just about any retail store, demagnetize that card, and then re-magnetize it using the stolen credit card information.
Click here to find out more at Eater and be aware that this fraud can happen to you. Eat well and enjoy life but be on your guard and watch out for fraud.