A DODGY new device can clone up to 15 contactless bank cards every second. Crooks use the hi-tech hacking unit to fund shopping sprees using stolen details. The scanner skims details from the credit and debit card of people standing nearby.
The reader – the Contactless Infusion X5 – is able to capture encrypted data, extracting the card’s number and even the holder’s name, address and a mini-statement in some cases.That data is then written on to blank cards using special software.The swipe card swindlers who call themselves the CC buddies are selling ready-made con kits which include the reader with built-in battery, a USB cable, 20 blank chipped credit cards and software.They are sold by dealers on the streets for up to £500 or distributed more cheaply via anonymous “dark net” fraud markets.Our investigators were shown one of the readers, which are already said to be “flooding the streets” of London and the south east.
The fraudster said: “This is the first contactless bank card hacker being sold on the black market.
“We designed and developed it. It can read any bank card from 8cm away and will read 1024 bytes per second, which is equivalent to 15 bank cards per second.
“All you have to do is be in close proximity to groups of people with contactless cards – that’s around half of all debit card holders – and you’re in.”
Former fraudster Tony Sales, who racked up a £30million fortune by scamming victims, claims electronic pickpockets are fleecing shoppers of thousands every week using the contactless con.
The former villain, who now runs a retail fraud prevention company in Bexleyheath, south London, said: “This is one of the fastest growing and most lucrative credit card frauds and it’s hard to stop.
“Kits like the ones you have seen are now being distributed en masse, especially around the capital, and are easily available on encrypted online market places.”
GETTYBLACK MARKET: The machine is the first of its kindHe added: “You don’t have to be a sophisticated criminal to use one of these. And they represent substantial earners for fraudsters.“Once the details are written on to blank cards, fraudsters can use them in stores or online.”The crime has increased by 60% in five years and “can be carried out by virtually anyone”, he says.
There are 31million credit cards now in circulation and 95.7million debit cards – half of them contactless.
Spending on tap-and-go cards – which now have a £30 spending limit – rose to almost £7.8billion last year.