Beware of credit card theft

KINGSTON — Senior Superintendent of Police Fitz Bailey, the former head of the Organised Crime Investigation Division, is reminding credit-card users to keep their cards in their sight when making transactions.

“There is a little device we call the ‘grabber’,” he said yesterday, referring to small, handheld, wireless gadgets with a slot that thieves can run the card through just like the regular credit-card machine at business establishments.

“And they (thieves) have programmes that they can use to reproduce your information,” he explained.

Bailey was speaking during yesterday’s weekly luncheon of the Lions Club of Kingston at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston.

Various reports have indicated an increase in reported cases of identity theft, with falsification of taxpayer registration numbers being one of the growing forms.

Bailey was highlighting the savvy ways in which con artists have been using technology to gain the personal data of unsuspecting victims, including the utilisation of the grabbers.

Lions Club member Desmon Brown asked if he was caught with a grabber, whether he would be arrested.

Bailey answered in the negative, admitting there was currently no law against ordering one online and bringing it into the island.

“Those items must be restricted. Unless you can explain and demonstrate that you have a legitimate business, then you (should not be able to) import those kinds of equipment,” he argued.

Bailey reiterated his call for people to be vigilant, whether just by covering their pins while at the ATM or being wary of spam email which is sometimes used as camouflage to hack accounts. He stressed that anyone who has a bank account could suffer from identity theft.

“As long as we have to interface with computers, as long as we have to deal with transactions that involve debit- and credit-card instruments … these are some realities that we have to deal with.” (Gleaner)

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