Department of Homeland Security Daily Open Source Infrastructure Report

08 March 2006

March 06, Washington Post Street-level credit card fraud. Thieves in Las Vegas, NV, are encoding hotel room keys with stolen financial data, including 16-digit credit card numbers, date, person's name, and the name of a bank. The keys function exactly like credit cards, allowing the carrier to pay for merchandise at any store or market where customers do their own swiping. The idea is to be able to anonymously use someone else's credit card at a physical location; hotel room keys are likely to be overlooked or set aside for what they appear to be. "It was getting fairly regular that in post-arrest inventory, we would find eight to 10 room key cards ... all from different hotels," said Dennis Cobb of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. "The people who had these cards on them were using them in transactions with local businesses," Cobb said. The discovery led Cobb's division to team up with researchers from the Identity Theft and Financial Fraud Research and Operations Center at the University of Nevada , Las Vegas to devise technologies that police could deploy in the field to detect various types of fraud. Source: vel_credit_card_fraud.html