Law enforcement tracks cloned credit card prevalence - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Law enforcement tracks cloned credit card prevalence

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Law enforcement has been looking into more credit card fraud cases lately thanks to higher awareness among consumers who are vigilant of identity theft.

The Tucson Police Department reviews financial crime cases daily, including a common form of fraud: cloned credit cards.

Richard Radinsky with the financial crimes division at TPD said how precisely a card is replicated does not always matter. Skimming devices that extract the card number from magnetic strips only do half the job.

"Even if the card looks bad, whether you're ordering over the Internet or over the phone or something, you could still utilize it on point-of-sale terminals where there is no human contact," Radinsky said.

The Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona asks consumers to keep a hawk's eye over bank statements, especially since it could take hours to weeks -- an unknown amount of time -- for a criminal to clone a card.

"A lot of times businesses who get stolen from or people who get stolen from, don't have any idea until money starts disappearing so just keep an eye on your account and be real critical of what charges are on there," said Nick LaFleur with the BBB of Southern Arizona.

Police said it can be hard for card-accepting businesses to pinpoint a clone from the real thing and should reach out to card companies to check for specific details.

"They need to get with their merchant services, the people who process their credit cards, any specific security features they need to be looking for," Radinsky said.

LaFleur added that frequent credit report checks could help track credit card fraud, but the tired and true way of safeguarding your money is to look for suspicious transactions and if so, report them to law enforcement. 

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