Elizabethtown theives clone credit cards in latest identity scam


by Melanie Kahn


Posted on March 3, 2010 at 12:59 AM

It's one of the latest ways thieves are stealing your money and your identity called credit card cloning.

Some of the clones were being made in Elizabethtown but investigators say with the help of a sales manager at Best Buy, they found the people making the high-tech fakes.

If you think cloning is just about creating identical sheep, you better think again.

According to the United States Secret Service, it's the new way to steal someone's identity.

But ask people about credit card cloning, they’re probably say they’ve never heard of it.

That's exactly what is now happening.

Paul Johnson, a special agent with the Secret Service, says it's a problem all over the world with the most recent case right here in Elizabethtown.

Johnson said, "They actually took counterfeit credit card product, encoded the counterfeit credit card number on the back side of the card and put down the information of the compromised individual."
Johnson says agents believe the credit cards numbers they used came from overseas and were given to them by a contact in New York.

But the five suspects weren't just making counterfeit credit cards; they were making driver's licenses to go along with them.

They planned to use the credit cards at Best Buy store starting with one on Dixie Highway in Elizabethtown.

"In their GPS indicator they had pre-programmed Best Buys into their GPS throughout the country," Johnson said.

But they didn't make it far.

Elizabethtown Police arrested the suspects after a Best Buy Store manager reported them for making suspiciously large purchases.

"The hologram bounces right out there on your legitimate Visa," said Johnson noting the fakes were recognizable.

Under a black light, agents say you can see the hologram encrypted in real credit cards.

Most cloned credit cards don't have one and just come up blank.

Still, Johnson says this one of the most dangerous forms of identity theft yet.