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Canadian crooks compromise card terminals

18 February 2010  |  7731 views  |  2 caution!

The debit cards of hundreds of people in the Canadian city of Windsor have been compromised after crooks tampered with payment terminals in fast food joints, installing Bluetooth technology into the PIN Pads and wirelessly downloading account information.

The local police launched an investigation after receiving "numerous" calls from people claiming that their debit cards had been compromised and money removed from their bank accounts.

Authorities believe that once they had downloaded account details, the criminals cloned cards and made as many withdrawals as they could at ATMs in Quebec before the transactions were red flagged by banks.

Police are now investigating more than 200 complaints with losses estimated at hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Among the victims was Charles Janisse, CEO of the Motor City Credit Union. "I was out shopping and my card came up as having reached its limit. I thought: 'Wait a minute.' So I went home and checked online and sure enough - there was a fraudulent transaction," he told the local Windsor Star.

Police says the technique is not new and several arrests have been made in Windsor during the past year of suspects who have tampered with PIN pads.

Comments: (2)

David Divitt
David Divitt - VocaLink - London | 19 February, 2010, 15:29

This story may alarm some consumers, but it isn't actually a new threat. Attacks of this type have been happening for a while, and the Canadian banks and Interac are very aware of the situation. It isn't possible to always block every fraud attempt, but they use the latest technologies, including comprehensive point of compromise tools, to identify potentially vulnerable cards and stop them before they fall victim to the criminals.

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Matt Scott
Matt Scott - RenovITe Technologies Inc - London | 20 February, 2010, 12:03

This reminds me of the attack against the Trintech SC5000 in 2005!  I would have thought Terminal Manufacturers would have evolved designs to avoid this type of compromise.

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