Restaurant Employees Stealing Customers Credit Card Numbers

Here’s another story about restaurant employees stealing customers credit card information in a decidedly “low tech” way.  Rather than using electronic card skimmers to pull the digits off of the credit cards of their customers as is typical in card scams at restaurants, these guys were simply writing down the credit card numbers so they could use them to make charges.

These guys weren’t exactly organized as it typically the case with credit card skimming.  (Card skimming devices are actually outlawed in many states, and in Arizona, unlawful possession is actually a felony).  They weren’t using the information to make fake credit cards.  Rather, they were using the digits at other restaurants where they knew people that would happily input the numbers manually for the bogus charges.  They then left what could only be described as extremely generous tips on their credit cards for their respective waiters.

The ruse was uncovered when one of the crooks tried to use one of the credit card numbers to stay at a hotel that raised the suspicion of one of the desk clerks.  The clerk decided to call the credit card company and then subsequently called the police.  The hotel managed to hold the suspects until the police arrived.  Local police have determined that the thieves had been using the credit card numbers to stay at hotels and pay for restaurant meals and tips for several months already.  To date, they’ve found people who have been vicitimized by this particular scam.

Let this serve as a reminder that you should never let your credit card out of your sight while at a restaurant or anywhere else.  It is far too easy for a conniving thief to write down your digits or to otherwise steal your information.  You simply never know when it could happen to you.