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 Legal Services, Pattaya City Thailand 

Credit card cloning a real menace

Escalating number of cases 
Pattaya police and credit card companies are warning local tourists and residents not to let their credit cards and debit cards out of their sight.

Pattaya police and credit card companies are warning local tourists and residents not to let their credit cards and debit cards out of their sight.This follows a criminal case, still under investigation, when restaurant staff were shown to be implicated in stealing bio-data.

The scam came to light after a credit card used to buy bulk items at Homemart, South Pattaya, was shown to be fake after checks at a local bank. The superstore authorities alerted police and arrests were made by undercover, plain cloths officers when the heavy goods were delivered to the restaurant in question in a company vehicle. Investigations continue as the police believe the ring leaders are still at large.

Although credit card fraud has been around for decades, new technology means that dishonest staff can download a customers personal details onto a computer o make a new card.  Thieves are then free to use the fake card for transactions and the original card holder may not know until  his or her next statement arrives.

Other more traditional methods of abuse include making more then one receipt, getting the customer to sign twice as the first attempt  "didn't come through" or simply copying the data on a receipt and selling it to a third party.

Credit card companies say that the most vulnerable time for customers is when their card is taken away by the sales assistant for "checking".

This is a particularly common practice in restaurants worldwide.

The latest technology makes cloning of a credit card very difficult as chip-cards, as they are known, require a personal PIN number before they can be activated. However it may be years before this technology is introduced generally.

In the mean time, senior Pattaya police are concerned about the number of complaint they are receiving and urge credit card holders to insist on not being parted from their property during transactions. The number of instances of cloned passports is certainly on the rise and cases of loss or theft should be reported as soon as possible. 

Fake credit cards and other personal documents can be worth up to 100.000 Baht on the black market, although they become less valuable and easier to detect as the period of time since the theft lengthens.

This article was first published by "Pattaya Today"  www..pattayatoday.net  June 2005                            Update 01 Nov 2006



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Credit Card fraud is on the rise, Pattaya City Thailand