PCI_Compliance_POS_Vendors_1[1] - Restaurants and Credit...

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Restaurants and Credit Cards – A Dangerous Combination All of us have heard about the dangers of using credit cards on the internet. Many of us probably even know a friend, co-worker or family member who has been a victim of credit card fraud or identity theft. What most people don’t know is that using a credit card at a restaurant is far more dangerous than making a purchase online. According to statistics and industry experts the internet is actually a safer place to use a credit card than at a restaurant or bar. Data recorded by Visa since January 2005, states that restaurants made up over 40% of incidents in which criminals gained unauthorized access to credit card information. This represents the largest percentage of incidents for any single merchant category. In addition, Ambiron Trustwave, a Chicago-based security company that conducts security audits for merchants, reported that 62% of the security violations it encountered during an18 month period of time occurred in restaurants. So what makes the restaurant industry so vulnerable? First, it is one of the last remaining settings where you give your card to an individual who actually leaves your site to process the payment. What happens from the moment a credit card leaves your hand and the moment it’s returned can be very unnerving. The Most Dangerous Employee One of the most common tactics is called “skimming”. This is where a restaurant employee uses a device called a skimmer to steal personal account information that is embedded in the magnetic strip located on the back of the card. Credit card skimming has become a worldwide problem with losses exceeding $1 billion a year. It is estimated that 70% of these losses happen in restaurants. The list of restaurants that have been victim to skimming are endless. In April of 2007, seven restaurant employees were indicted in Orlando for skimming a number of cards from a local restaurant. They sold the credit card data to a middleman who then sold the information to a group making counterfeit credit cards in Miami. Similar incidents happen all the time in both metro and rural areas. Criminals don’t discriminate between restaurant types either. It has affected pizzerias, casual dining restaurants and fine dining establishments alike. In many cases, criminals will pay restaurant employees to skim cards or sometimes become a restaurant employee themselves. What may be most troubling is how easy it is to get a hold of skimming equipment. Everything required to pull this crime off is available to anyone who has internet access. A typical skimmer costs around $300 and the equipment to make a counterfeit credit card can be purchased for as low as $5000. If this wasn’t dangerous enough, there is another kind of skimming that effects restaurants using older terminals. How it works is a criminal will slide a small skimming bug into the terminal. The bug will then pull credit card data directly from the terminal and after a few days of transactions they will remove the bug and take off with the
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PCI_Compliance_POS_Vendors_1[1] - Restaurants and Credit...

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