Restaurant Credit Card Skimming Alive and Well
“Three servers at the Cheesecake Factory restaurant on Wisconsin Avenue in the District allegedly stole credit card numbers from patrons as part of a scheme that racked up more than $117,000 in fraudulent charges between 2008 and last year, authorities say.
Investigators with the U.S. Secret Service allege the servers were working for a larger fraud ring and were using electronic devices to “skim” the credit card numbers of customers they served at the restaurant. The devices were handed off to others, and the stolen numbers were used to make fake credit cards and later used to buy gift cards and merchandise in the Washington area, according to court records in U.S. District Court in Alexandria. “
The $40 street rate per stolen card quoted here for known good cards is much higher than the bulk rate for credit card data collected through mass malware infections.
This is an example of why I always pay in cash as much as possible in places like this. As economic conditions possibly worsen over time, I would expect to see more activity like this.