Skip to comments.Swiping credit card at restaurant table can preclude skimming, cheating
Posted on 07/26/2007 5:03:45 AM PDT by rightwingintelligentsia
Every think twice about handing over a credit or debit card to your restaurant server when paying the check? Maybe you should. While most of the time the payment goes through just fine, when your card leaves your sight, nasty things can happen. Occasionally, crooks use devices called skimmers to steal account information that's embedded in a card's magnetic stripe, which they sell or use to make counterfeit cards to raid a bank account or run up fraudulent bills.
It's estimated 70 percent of that type of card fraud, known as skimming, happens in restaurants, one of the last places where customers give their cards to someone who disappears into a back room to process the transaction.
In 2001, a credit card ring that involved wait staff stole information from customers at Don Pablo's Mexican Kitchen in North Fayette and, prosecutors said, and made fraudulent purchases totaling $16,861.
That's not the only type of skulduggery that can happen. Ever hear of tip fraud? It happens when a server alters the tip when entering the final bill in the payment system. You could be charged an extra 50 cents, a few bucks or more, but unless you cross-check your receipts with your monthly statements, you probably wouldn't catch it.
Now, a new technology is being pushed by payment systems giant Verifone that's designed to speed transactions and combat fraud by keeping cards in customers' hands.
(Excerpt) Read more at post-gazette.com ...
Another reaon that you should NEVER use debit cards for anything.
Why anyone uses debit cards is beyond me. Call me crazy, but I much prefer a $50 risk associated with a credit card versus having my entire account wiped out.
You should also keep a “Willard” organizer nearby so you can calculate the tip.
Having my entire account wiped out would cost me way less than $50.00. :-)
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
Before I go to a restaurant I get cash from my bank’s ATM to cover what I think the bill will be. Never, ever give some Waiter/Waitress your credit card. That’s just fraud waiting to happen.
I'm in the middle of this right now. I don't know who exactly did it yet, but I suspect a local Mexican restaurant skimmed my data from my debit card. They bought $300 in wireless phone cards, two bus tickets from Texas, and attempted to make a $1400 purchase from Lowe's.
The reason I use debit cards is simple - I'm not disciplined enough to stay out of credit card debt. My bank (USAA) is ridiculously easy to work with when it comes to fraud issues. They cancelled my card and issued me a new one within 24 hours of my identifying the fraud. They'll also reverse any charges I disupte and refund any NSF fees that may pop up. At most, I'll have an inconvenience that could last as long as 3 days.
I never let my credit card out of my sight. Except when it’s in my wallet.
I check my bank account, online, everyday...debit misuses will show up overnight. Credit card misuses only show up when you get your bill once a moth, unless you check your credit card online (which I do about once a week.)
I leave a minimum amount of cash in my debit account....they cant steal what is not there....and transfer funds to it on-line as needed.
But basically I use my AMEX CC with cash rewards which garner me about a grand a year in cash back.
Re: debit misuses will show up overnight.
It is still too late. How do you expect to get money back from your account?
With credit cards, if you get your statement 20 days later and there are fraudulent charges, you can still have them stopped.
I don’t even take my card out while waiting in line in stores as cell phone cameras are better than ever.
They're perfectly fine where I'm the only one who touches the card, such as in the supermarket checkout line. It's way less hassle than writing a check, and easier to get a few bucks back in the transaction so I don't have to hunt down an ATM.
In Europe, restaurant customers refuse to let their credit cards leave the table. As a result, waiters have wireless card swipers with them, so that the cards can be swiped at the tables.
Here in Slovakia, it is quite secure.
I have two Slovak bank cards. One is the old style with raised characters, but the other is flat, and it is the only one I carry with me for ATM machines and store transactions. The old card is necessary only for online purchases.
If I use it for a POP transaction in a store or restaurant, I have to enter my pin number into a hand held device that shows the total charge.
I also have very good online banking with a Slovak bank. Anytime I log onto my account, I get an instant msg on my cellphone to confirm that it is me.
What slays me are the people who say they would NEVER use their credit card online, even with a secure server connection (https), yet have no qualms about letting their credit card disappear around the corner with a food server.