Financial identity theft crimes are becoming more common in Florida as people resort to using less cash in favor of credit and debit cards. The following are a couple examples of increasingly common ways people are committing financial identity fraud to obtain the names and numbers on credit and debit card accounts so they can be later used without the cardholder’s authorization.
One method of financial identity fraud is referred to as key logging. It can happen in two primary ways. First, a person will attach a device to a computer through the keyboard port that can document a person’s key strokes when the computer is used. For instance, an offender may attach the device to a computer at a public library. When a victim uses the computer and types information on the keyboard, the offender can come back and remove the device and determine what keys the victim hit while using the computer. Alternatively, software is available that can serve the same purpose. After visiting a certain website, opening an email or getting a computer virus, a computer may acquire software that records a person’s keystrokes and sends the information to another location to be accessed by an offender.
Another method used to commit financial identity fraud is called skimming. This occurs when the offender uses a device that records the information on the magnetic strip on a credit or debit card as well as the information entered on the keypad. The device can be used in places where people swipe their credit or debit cards, such as ATM machines, gas station pumps and other such terminals. It can also be done in the various situations where a person gives a waiter, retailer or other vendor a credit card to be swiped and returned to the customer.