Source of cloned credit card info remain a mystery | News
Sarasota, Florida -- In the last year, there has been a number of credit and debit card security breaches at major retail outlets such as Target and Neiman Marcus, including more than a dozen Bay area gas stations.
Last Friday, Sarasota County sheriff's deputies arrested and charged both Adrian Fernandez and Jose Marquez-Hernandez of Miami with credit card fraud.
Fernandez, 20, and Marquez-Hernandez, 26, both face three charges.
While making purchases allegedly with cloned credit cards, the duo was busted by loss prevention at the Wal-Mart on Cattleman Road and interstate 75.
"They had 110 credit cards with their names on the front of them but every magnetic strip on the back of all 110 cards was someone else's identification number," said Wendy Rose, community affairs manager for the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.
Last August, the agency arrested a couple from New York who they say also tried to make purchases at the same Walmart store.
During a raid on their hotel room, detectives found a thumb drive, computer and scanner used to clone the credit card with stolen bank information.
The arrests are an example of how the credit card information hacked from retail stores and skimmers at gas stations end up in the hands of criminals.
While police have been successful in catching those using the cards, they have not had the same success in locating the source of the stolen numbers and those in custody don't cooperate in giving that information.
"They may have got these cards from someone, but they don't know where they got the cards or got the information," said Detective Jason Friday.
A Lexis Nexis study reports that credit card fraud cost business $190 dollars a year, while customers suffer a loss of $4.8 million.
Another study by The Economist reports that credit card fraud in the U.S. is consistently on the rise, ahead of any other country.
With no signs that this type of fraud will end soon, it will be up to consumers to protect their vital credit card information by being vigilant.
"Being very caution about where you use your credit or debit card, paying close attention to your bank account and considering using cash," Rose said.