Walmart Rejects Con Men's First 12 Fake Credit Cards - Then Accepts 2

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www.chesterfield.gov

By Christine DiGangi

If the idea behind a scam is to avoid getting caught, you'd expect subtlety would be a component in the operation. Not so for this pair of credit card fraudsters in Virginia: One guy tried eight credit cards while checking out at a Walmart (WMT) -- they were all rejected -- until the ninth one worked. A second suspect swiped four duds before the Walmart cashier accepted his fifth card.

All the card numbers had been stolen, but the two winners hadn't yet been canceled. The pair also allegedly used the cards at a GameStop (GME) in the same shopping center. Police have released security footage of the suspects.

Once the cardholders discovered the fraudulent transactions, it probably wasn't too difficult to trace them back to the men with their stacks of cards, swiping till something worked. It's not common practice to nonchalantly shuffle through half-dozen rejected credit cards in the checkout line.

%VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%The thieves never nabbed the physical cards from their rightful owners; they programmed stolen credit card data onto fake cards, which is a common manifestation of credit card fraud. Hackers sell credit card data in the black market online (that's what happened to some card numbers stolen during the Target breach), which other criminals can use to make online purchases or to manufacture their own cards. For the fraudsters, the key is making purchases before the cardholder or their issuer notices the transactions, because the spree stops there.

There's not a lot consumers can do to prevent fraud, though it helps to use strong passwords, avoid unsecured Internet connections, and never save financial information in Web browsers. Still, breaches happen, so the best way to protect yourself from fraud is to regularly check your accounts for unauthorized transactions. If you're worried about identity theft, you may also want to monitor your credit scores. You can see two of your credit scores for free every month on Credit.com.
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