The following article by Jessica Chou of the Daily Meal discloses how vulnerable any restaurant patron may be when paying via a credit card. Some steakhouse waiters in NYC were accused of using handheld scanners to steal the credit card information of their customers. The stolen credit card data was then used to create fake credit cards which were used to purchase luxury items that were resold for cash.
As long as credit cards remain popular, credit card fraud will be prevalent and difficult to guard against.
More than two dozen waiters and accomplices at some of the best New York City steakhouses are accused of identity theft, taking credit card numbers from their wealthy customers, and buying luxury items to resell for cash.
They allegedly targeted diners who paid with American Express black cards and other high-status cards.
According to msnbc.com, “Several suspects are from top city restaurants like Smith & Wollensky, Capital Grille, and Wolfgang Steak, as well as Morton’s in Stamford and the Bicycle Club in New Jersey.”
Officials say waiters would copy card information with handheld scanners while walking to process the bill and the information was then sent to ringleaders who made duplicates and tested the fake cards on taxis. Restaurant operators were not involved, officials say.