A pair of crooks in Oklahoma made more than $400,000 with a whisper-thin gas-pump credit-card skimmer that they installed in Wal-Mart gas stations, using rental cars while they were doing the installation. Kevin Konstantinov and Elvin Alisuretove allegedly harvested their skimmers every two months or so, creating bogus credit cards with the data and then withdrawing cash at ATMs or sharing it with crooks in Russia and the former USSR. Brian Krebs details the technology, as well as a series of next-gen gas-pump skimmers that use tiny, unobtrusive Bluetooth bugs to harvest credit-card data.
Pump skimmers can be fairly cheap to assemble. The generic gas pump card acceptance device pictured left in the image above (Panasonic ZU-1870MA6t2) can be purchased for about $74. The pump skimmer scammers must love this model: It almost looks like it’s designed to hold additional electronics.
Investigators say the individuals responsible for these pump scams are able to ply their trade because a great many pumps can be opened with a handful of master keys. In the end, it comes down to a cost decision by the filling station owners: This story from Fox News about a rash of pump skimmers discovered earlier this month in Minnesota that it costs filling stations about $450 to re-key eight pumps.
Don’t Get Sucker Pumped
We got one of these gadgets from The Lakeside Collection and it broke on the first use. It turns out the screw neck is made of the cheapest plastic known to man and is doomed to failure upon contact with anything harder than snow, such as ice, wipers, mirrors, roofracks, antennas, and so on. Worse, […]
It’s a very expensive wee gadget, the Teenage Engineering OP-1 [Amazon link; a used one from eBay is much cheaper]! Yuri Wong is an expert with its sampling and sequencing tools, and this video he uploaded is a fascinating illustration of how powerful and approachable they are. Download the mp3: https://gum.co/imadude [Logic Project download link […]
In the wake of this week's Motherboard scoop that the major US carriers sell customers' location data to marketing companies that sell it on to bounty hunters and other unsavory characters, Google has disclosed that they have told the carriers that supply service for its Google Fi mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that they expect […]
Still determined to keep those New Year’s health resolutions? If you’re going to stick with the exercise plan, it’s enough of a challenge to budget your time. No need for your financial budget to take a hit, too. Here’s a more convenient – and cheaper – alternative to a gym membership or Peloton bike: Two […]
Want a career in web design? It’s true that these days, most anyone can throw up a page or two. But for true workhorse web design, you’ll sometimes need to match the platform to the project. Enter the Complete Front-End Developer Bundle, an educational grand tour around the best tools for the web. For beginners, […]
Things move fast in the world of social media, and they don’t slow down for marketers looking to make an impact. Whether you’re grabbing eyeballs for a major company or a local business, you’ll need to adjust your strategy for every platform. Don’t have a strategy to begin with? That’s where the Social Media Marketing […]