Wireless Data is at Risk at Parking Meters

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Wireless Data is at Risk at Parking Meters

An Austin, Texas woman says her credit card numbers were stolen after she used downtown parking meters, reports keyetv.com. The woman, Chelsea, who did not give her last name, says fraudulent charges were made on two of her cards. City officials examined the meters she used and said there was no sign of skimming.

However, it is possible to skim with a wireless device from nearby.

“They are wireless and they do transmit the data so when you put your card in, it needs to go through an authorization process, and I would imagine that some of that data that can be transferred electronically can be captured locally within a reasonable distance,” says Allan Bachman, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners Education Manager.

I don’t like to be the voice of doom, but in this area, I will admit to serious doubts about the safety of credit and debit card information in just about every setting. I’ve had my card information stolen at least twice in my life. I use my cards with the full knowledge that they are not safe, but do so because I know the credit card company will reimburse me if fraudulent charges are made.

I’ve read that gas stations are hit most by card skimmers. When I buy gas, I use the card that comes with the best fraud policy and customer service – just in case.

At some point, credit card companies are going to lose too much money to continue this practice. They will either reimburse less, require insurance or limit use in a way that is more secure than current PCI standards. In the meantime, anybody designing meters might want to factor in some extra security measures.

Read the article here.

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John Van Horn

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