June 29, 2017

Fraud Expert: Credit Card Cloning Trend "Going Skyward"

Photo by Flickr user Sean MacEntee

Photo by Flickr user Sean MacEntee

A recent weekend getaway with the family turned into a credit card cloning hassle for a Pendleton man. Luke Renner had taken his family to an amusement park, only to discover a few days later that two of his credit cards had been cloned.

“My best guess that it probably - whatever happened – happened there," Renner says.

Renner received a fraud alert from one of the banks to let him know that his personal credit card had been hacked. It was only after his business credit card was declined at two different stores that he realized it too had been cloned. 

“And then it occurred to me that one of the two cards that was compromised never left my wallet,” he says. 

Renner didn't take any chances. He and his wife closed their credit card accounts and got new cards. They also did some research on RFID or so-called "tap-to-pay" credit cards that you don't have to swipe or stick in a machine to use. 

“They have RFID blocking wallets, card sleeves that stick to your phone – and these are just sort of barriers – that create an electronic wall of some sort that keep those scanners from being able to retrieve the information off of the cards that are in your wallet,” Renner says. 

He's invested in a new wallet for himself and his wife got an RFID blocking sleeve for her cards.

Indianapolis Metro Police Sergeant Steve Walters says credit card fraud continues to escalate. Criminals use skimmers on ATMs and at gas pumps but, he says, they can also scan tap-to-pay credit cards without even touching them.

“They can do a card reading right from the pocket of their pants and you have no idea. It could have been someone standing right behind you at the grocery store,” Walters says.

He recommends setting up fraud alerts on all your credit cards and regularly - even daily - check your statements online.

Walters warns there may be more to worry about than just getting your credit card replaced.

“Make sure in the next couple of weeks once you have had that account shut down, that you run a credit check on yourself to make sure individuals are not opening different accounts using your card information,” he says.

Walters also recommends making a police report so they can help put a stop to credit card fraud.


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