In this day and age, stealing someone’s identity has become as simple as ordering a favorite cup of coffee.
Smart phones make it easy for scammers and thieves to take credit card or other personal information.
We’ve become so accustomed to willingly handing our cards to the cashier at the drive-thru or grocery store that we fail to consider the person behind the register could be untrustworthy.
Unfortunately, swiping credit card information during these face-to-face transactions happens more often than we think.
In 2011, before chip cards were introduced in the United States, ABC News reported credit card cloning taking place at a California grocery store. Customers simply had to swipe their cards to give up their information.
On Black Friday in 2013, hackers caused quite a stir at Target. CNN Money reported that 40 million paying customers were affected when software stole their credit card information as they paid at checkout.
Then, in 2016, a Starbucks barista decided to steal a customer’s debit card information in a much simpler way — no hacking required.
When Juana Martinez went for a coffee on New Year’s Day, she had no idea she was about to get robbed.
When the mother-of-three received a text message from her bank informing her of a transaction for $212 at a local Ralph’s grocery store, Martinez decided to investigate.
She called the store and asked them to describe the person who had used her card. Martinez was reportedly given a description, and says she knew immediately who had taken her information.
“She went to the back with my card. She was nervous to hand me it back. I worked retail for a couple of years so I knew you don’t just walk away to the back with someone’s card,” Martinez told Inside Edition.
Martinez decided to return to that Starbucks and confront the employee. Her husband caught the entire interaction on camera, and Martinez’s brother Brian Espinoza posted the video to Facebook.
“I almost feel bad for the girl but she robbed the wrong person,” Espinoza wrote. “Keep an eye out folks, even if it’s at your friendly neighborhood Starbucks.”
“You come to Starbucks to get coffee, not to get robbed,” Martinez says in the video. According to KTLA 5, the employee was fired following this incident.
Intel security expert Robert Siciliano told Inside Edition how card users can keep their information secure to keep something like this from happening.
“Number one, pay close attention to the card,” he said. “If they get your card out of sight, that is a red flag. Number two, download your bank or credit card company’s mobile application and sign up for alerts. That way every time a charge is made to your card you get a text message or email. Number three, pay close attention to your statements. The moment you see unauthorized activity, call your bank or credit card companies immediately.”
Would you confront the thief if this happened to you?
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