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Tag Archive | "Credit Cards"

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Swiper No Swiping

Posted on 11 October 2011 by Total Secure Shredding

“Swiper no Swiping, Swiper no Swiping, Swiper no Swiping…”

Anyone who’s raised a child in the last 10 years is most likely familiar with Dora the Explorer and Swiper.

Perhaps the New York City police are familiar (I doubt it) but this week the New York police have indited 111 people and arrested 85 in a two year operation called “Operation Swiper.”

The Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said this is “by far the largest and certainly amongst the most sophisticated identity-theft credit card fraud cases that any of us have ever seen.”

It certainly was a big one…

Apparently “skimmers” were hired “to steal credit card data from customers at restaurants and other businesses” where the info was than transferred onto other credit cards that were supplied overseas from Russia, Libya, Lebanon, and China.

The main items of interest were Apple products due to their easy resale overseas.

In total, $13 million in goods were purchased using this stolen credit card data.

Unfortunately there seems no simple precaution consumers can take to prevent their credit card from being skimmed at a restaurant. I for one, turn over my credit, on a plate (might as well be a silver platter), to my waiter or waitress. It’s anyone’s guess as to whether this person is an accomplice in some identity theft ring.

I suppose one option is to pay with cash at restaurants. However, this is probably not practical for most of us.

The only other thing to do is to keep a close eye on your bank and credit card accounts.

Reviewing your monthly bank and credit card statements in a timely manner is always a good idea.

If you find that your credit card has been compromised. Immediately let your bank or credit card company know. They will cancel your card and send out a new one.

In my experience, I’ve found that they are also really good at getting the money back into your account if there is any dispute.

To read the full story online, here’s the link:

In the end, keep vigilant and keep an eye out for Swipers!

Until next time… Keep Totally Secure,

Head Shredding Guy

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Ever Lost Your Wallet?

Posted on 22 July 2011 by Total Secure Shredding

Hey Folks,

Do you know that sinking, sick to your stomach, feeling you get when you realize you’ve lost your wallet?

I’ve been there done that!

Now try loosing your wallet while on active in the military while down in Cabo San Lucas with your Military I.D. still in your wallet. Getting a new Military I.D. required your commanding officer’s approval – Let me just say he wasn’t all too happy about that!

But for the most part, you’re not going to have to worry about getting a new Military I.D., but you are going to go through the mental agony of trying to remember what exactly was in your wallet…

Which credit cards do I need to cancel; Great, I need to make an appointment with the DMV; Winning $80 Million Lottery Ticket (pretty much can write that one off!)

Well I found this story a few weeks ago on ABC’s Good Morning America.

It goes through how to keep a nice and tidy wallet that will help prevent I.D. Theft in the event your wallet is lost or stolen.

Here are the top 3 things no one should ever keep in their wallet:

  1. Never keep your Social Security Card in your wallet.
  2. Never keep your Passport in you wallet.
  3. Never keep a list of your passwords and account number in your wallet.

So remember to keep the contents of your wallet to a bear minimum just in case the unfortunate occurs.

Oh, and I’d love to hear your story about the event that transpired around a recent lost wallet story and how you were able to get it taken care of.

You may or may not be happy to know I did get a new Military I.D. without getting into too much hot water. The funny thing about it, I actually recovered that wallet! The cleaning lady at the hotel I was staying at in Cabo San Lucas found my wallet and somehow it made it’s way to the U.S. Embassy in Tijuana. Someone from the Embassy called my parents in Tennessee (being active duty in the military, I still was using a Tennessee Driver’s License), my parents called me, and I went down to the Embassy and picked it up. Believe it or not, everything was still in the wallet!

Goes to show there are still some good folks out there in the world.

Until next time… Keep Totally Secure.

Your friend,

Mike Krauss
Head Shredding Guy

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Phone Jacking Your Credit Card

Posted on 18 September 2010 by Total Secure Shredding

Hey Folks,

This blog entry takes up right where the last blog left off… Paranoia!

I saw this news story about ID Fraud the other day and I thought it was interesting – take a look! (It’s only about two and a half minutes long.)

Apparently individuals standing behind you in the line at the grocery store may be taking picture of your credit card!

I guess the deal is that with the image, they can then make charges against your credit card.

I process quite a few credit cards down at our Shredding Facility. This involves physically holding the credit card and having to enter the last four digits of the credit card account number into the terminal for verification purposes.

That being said, half the time I can barely read the last for digits of the account number.

Most of the time the color on the numbering that is used to make them stand out has been rubbed off. This makes it very difficult to read the numbers even when just a foot from my nose.

So this news story seems to imply that folks standing a few feet behind you in the store are going to be able to get a perfect enough image to get the account numbers off the card.

Well I gave it a try with my phone and one of my business cards (about the same size as a credit card with about the same font size). I was standing about 3 feet away and set up the card so I could take a direct picture. Take a look for yourself.

As you can see, it’s pretty difficult to make out any of the writing – And my business card is a high contrast bold white font on a black background.

I also took a picture of my credit card. I couldn’t make out the numbers in the picture (even when I downloaded the picture from my phone to my desktop) but I’m hesitant to put the picture on-line just because I don’t know if there is someone out there with the right software that could make out the numbers…

OK OK… Yes I’m Paranoid.

That being said, I guess this scenario is possible, but it just doesn’t seem very plausible in my opinion.

I suppose your best bet is to not flail your credit card around openly while standing in line at the grocery store – keep it under wraps until you have to swipe it.

The news story also talks about making sure you are shredding sensitive documents rather than just throwing them out… but you know all about this already since you are keeping up with all my blog entries – Right!

Anyway, enough paranoia for this week.

Until next time.

Keep Totally Secure,


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