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Stolen PIN With Infrared Camera

How the scam works:

(with video, below) You finally cleared up your credit card enough to get yourself new clothes, cosmetic products, or a bunch of groceries. You grab your purchases and walk up to the counter, anxious to get home.

You're so excited about having the shopping done, you're not even bothered by the man behind you texting on his cell phone. You pull out your credit card and start chatting with the teller.

You think nothing of it and go home. It's a few weeks later when you get your credit card bill - only to find a number of charges you didn't make. Little did you know the guy behind you pressing the buttons on his cell phone... wasn't really texting; he was just subtle about having his phone out so he could activate the camera and record those seconds when your credit card is passed back and forth, registering the numbers on it.

It gets worse. After you left the counter, he used a FLIR One infrared camera to steal your PIN. FLIR One is a great tool (for businesses and many other right reasons) launched recently, which reads heat and infrared motion. For example, if you touch an object, you can see exactly where the heat from the body got in contact with the object. This way, is extremely easy for the scammer who comes right after in you in line to see the numbers you pressed on the PIN pad (like in the picture below, where the PIN was 2563).

infrared camera stolen pin scam

The last number you pressed has the most intense red infrared colour, since it's timely-based. This way, the scammer could tell the order you pressed your PIN, since the colour is the least bright on the first button touched.

The FLIR One camera gets attached to the back of an iPhone 5 just like a plastic protective cover. When the scammer comes to the shop counter after you, all he needs to do is to point the phone to the PIN pad - and boom, he has you PIN. Since he filmed your card for those 10-15 seconds while it was out passed around from you to the clerk and back, he now also has your card number and expiration date, too.

Watch the video below to see exactly how the scam works.

How to avoid:

Always be wary of people around you using a phone when you're pulling out your credit card. If you see someone, make sure to cover as much of the numbers as you can, just in case. It could just be a guy talking to his girlfriend about what he needs to get at the store - but it could also be the scammer who maxes out your freshly paid-off credit card.

To avoid the FLIR One scam, all you need to do is to keep another finger or two on different keys at all times, just so the heat is registered on those keys and confuse the scammer on which numbers you pressed.

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