View Full Version : Credit card warning

04-17-2002, 07:47 AM
State agents have arrested two local restaurant servers for stealing credit card numbers. The scam is called skimming. Agents say Darlene Bonilla and Idalmis Gorra were part of a ring that stole from at least 500 victims. Police say they stole credit card numbers with a skimmer device, then would give the numbers to a ring in Miami making at least $10,000 off unsuspecting victims. Both women worked at a restaurant in Lake Buena Vista where lots of tourists visit everyday. Agents say the restaurant was not involved in this ring. Investigators expect to make more arrests in this operation and other skimming rings they say are operating across Central Florida.

I guest it could happen anywhere, but keep a close eye on your cards.........


04-17-2002, 01:38 PM
what's a skimmer device?

Is it possible to prevent that kind of thing happening?



04-17-2002, 01:44 PM
Thought I would add my 2 cents....a few years ago we were vacationing in Mexico and the hotel front desk staff stole our credit card number and gave it to another con man in Florida. A few weeks after we got back from vacation all these strange charges were appearing on our account. The reason I know it must have been the hotel is that our friends who were travelling with us also had the same strange charges on their accounts as well (hundreds of dollars worth of athletic equipment). We both knew what charge cards we used in Mexico at the hotel and those were the ones used in Florida. Luckily the credit card company realized something fishy was going on and closed the accounts without it costing us anything.



04-18-2002, 07:36 AM
Jackie found this about Skimming----The credit card is 'skimmed' - passed through a small electronic device designed to copy the details of a credit card so it can be replicated later on.

Also found this

Working the Skimming Scam

Hereís how the scam is run. Criminal gangs recruit gofers, who then find temporary work within restaurants, hotels and retail outlets. The recruits are given small, illicit, electronic devices known as skimmers that capture all of the credit or debit cardís details in the few seconds that it takes to swipe the card through the machine.

When unsuspecting customers go to pay their bill, their card is first swiped through the legitimate credit card machine, but then, secretly, it is also swiped through the smaller skimmer machine.

The gofers then pass the gadgets onto counterfeiters, who pay them the equivalent of around $150 for their part in the crime. Once the details have been given to counterfeiters, they download the information onto a computer and make up a fake card.

The "cloned" card is embossed with the details of the victimís credit card and passed on to gang members who, police say, may sell it for between $400 and $700, depending on the perceived credit limit.

jj.........:mad: :mad:

04-18-2002, 01:59 PM
Hi JJ from another N Ireland disfan,

Please confirm - when we go to Florida we are always present when our credit cards are being swiped as we would never let our cards be taken away from us in case of something like this. However would we notice them swiping the card through the second machine or do you know is it part of the normal machine?

04-18-2002, 02:33 PM
Hi CarrickDisfan

Its very hard to keep your credit cards in sight all the time in the US - especially if you're at a busy restaurant. My tip would be, if you're staying in a Disney hotel, use your roomcharge key and then settle up at the end of the holiday. That way, you can keep track of your credit card.

You should be fine - we've been travelling to the 'states now for over ten years and have never had any problems.


04-18-2002, 05:40 PM
just to add, this can happen anywhere -

I saw it on watchdog recently about restaurants in the UK doing the same. Anytime a person takes your credit card away from you to a till you are at risk - and this practice (of taking your credit card to the till) is pretty wide spread in restaurants in both the UK and the USA - I think you would find it pretty difficult to keep your eye on your card at all times if you are using the card to pay for meals.

The skimming device, is not part of the normal machine, they showed something on watchdog and it was a small device that the waiter carried in his pocket.


04-19-2002, 07:05 AM
probably would be a good idea to take a card that had a small credit limit on it to restaurants as reading your replies JJ & BevS, I can't see how you can secure against it. I would assume that if you were on Disney property this would be unlikely to happen?? or would it???


04-19-2002, 09:02 AM
I would say that it's not likely to happen anywhere - and perhaps Disney is slightly safer then other places, but like so many things in life, it is a risk. It's not one that I would dwell on - if anyone does use your credit card, then the cc company will not expect you to pay the fraudulent charges - but you can expect some hassle sorting it out.

Something similiar happened to my brother when he was in hospital - while he was in theater having an operation someone took his credit card and bought £1000's of pounds worth of stereo equipment (they wouldn't manage that with mine! LOL!)- he had to prove that he hadn't bought the stuff (not hard since he was unconscious at the time) and the credit card company sorted it out.