Tales of Credit Card Fraud Mount, Mystery Grows
1) The credit card fraud is not confined to Park Slope. There is a cluster of reported incidents from Brooklyn Heights residents in particular. A few victims say that hadn't used their cards in Park Slope at all.
2) The fraud isn't limited to any one card issuer. While there is a concentration of cases linked to Citibank, cards from multiple banks and credit card companies are involved.
3) There could be more than one employee of a single business and more than one business involved. Based on emails, it is possible the source is a business with multiple locations.
4) The fraud has involved both credit cards and debit cards, and in some cases thousands of dollars in charges have occurred.
In the meantime, here's a bit from one PSP email:
Since the PSP board is rejecting posts with the names(s) of merchants they believe have been resposnsible for CC fraud. Its worrisome to know that this is happening and that I have no way of even trying to protect myself despite the fact that others are willing to share their information."...it's entirely possible or likely that the merchants have been hacked without their knowledge, and are no more responsible for the situation than their customers. Absent any hard proof beyond speculation, I'm sure you can appreciate how unfair it would be to announce to some 7,000 people in the area that Merchant X is not to be trusted; it could easily be a death sentence for a small business that has done nothing wrong--and may have been identified mistakenly in the first place.Judging from the outpouring of emails and postings, there have been a lot of incidents. Until the some sources are identified, it would be best to keep a special watch on one's account, particularly if a debit card is used.
In the meantime, there is plenty you can do to protect yourself. Only use bank ATMs. Pay only with credit cards, not debit cards--or, ideally, use cash instead. Put a freeze on your credit report, as has been explained earlier. And keep in mind that, as one of the fastest-growing areas of crime, credit card fraud and identity theft
are a much bigger problem than a single breach in a single store; these are all measures we should be taking anyway, regardless of the current suspicions...
Labels: Park Slope