Lots of unemployment benefits stolen from debit cards

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Mona Pereth
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17 Jul 2021, 10:14 pm

How criminals siphoned off unemployment payments directly from recipients’ accounts (CNBC video, via Twitter)

Summary by CNBC: "As millions of Americans received unemployment payments to get through the crisis, scammers developed a new way to steal cash directly from recipients’ accounts, according to an investigation by CNBC."

Problem is, in a lot of states here in the U.S.A., the debit cards for government benefits don't have chips, just metallic strips. The absence of chips makes the cards less secure.

A lot of states omitted chips on the debit cards as a cost-cutting measure. But, of course, it ended up costing a lot more money -- and a lot of anguish to recipients, many of whom lost their homes as a result of having their benefits stolen.


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kraftiekortie
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19 Jul 2021, 3:23 pm

People are really immoral when they siphon off money from the unemployed.



Mountain Goat
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19 Jul 2021, 3:44 pm

It is a falacy that chips make them more secure. We have them with what we call a swipe payment where all one has to do is wave the card above a card reader. It is VERY insecure as thieves have found ways to use their smartphones or they buy card reading devices and it they walk close enough past the wallet or purse in the pocket or handbag of an innocent passerby they can steal money out of their account. We have had this system since tey started to instal microchips in cards. It is a VERY insecure system. When we did not have the microchipped cards, one had to check the signature was the same as the one on the card, and they also had to enter a pin number in a machine for some payments. They first said these chips were for "Chip and pin" systems but the old system basically did that anyway when using a cash machine.



Mona Pereth
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20 Jul 2021, 2:07 pm

Mountain Goat wrote:
It is a falacy that chips make them more secure. We have them with what we call a swipe payment where all one has to do is wave the card above a card reader. It is VERY insecure as thieves have found ways to use their smartphones or they buy card reading devices and it they walk close enough past the wallet or purse in the pocket or handbag of an innocent passerby they can steal money out of their account. We have had this system since tey started to instal microchips in cards. It is a VERY insecure system. When we did not have the microchipped cards, one had to check the signature was the same as the one on the card, and they also had to enter a pin number in a machine for some payments. They first said these chips were for "Chip and pin" systems but the old system basically did that anyway when using a cash machine.

I think we may be talking about two different kinds of microchips. You're apparently talking about RFID chips, which aren't the same thing as EMV chips.

The contactless payments you're speaking of require RFID chips, which emit radio signals, whereas EMV chips do not emit radio signals and have to be "dipped." For more about the difference, see Can New Chip-Enabled Credit Cards Be Hacked Wirelessly? The Trick Radio Ploy by Dan Rafter Updated: Jun 17, 2021.

Here in the U.S.A., or at least here in NYC, EMV chips are much more common than RFID chips. Not very many stores around here use RFID chip readers, at least.

Also, if you do have RFID chip cards, there are ways to protect them. According to the above-linked article, "If you do have RFID cards in your wallet, you can protect yourself by buying an RFID-blocking sleeve or special wallets or purses that are designed to block the signal from readers."


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Mona Pereth
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20 Jul 2021, 8:03 pm

On the other hand I also came across this article just now: Criminals Find a Way to Clone EMV Cards by Fahmida Y. Rashid, Jul 31, 2020.

The cause of the problem here seems to be some banks' failure to use a security code for EMV that's different from the security code used for magnetic strips. Hopefully the affected banks have learned their lesson since last year?

On the other hand, regarding the other kind of chip cards, the ones with RFID, I found here that the proper term for them is NFC, which stands for "near field communication."


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Last edited by Mona Pereth on 20 Jul 2021, 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mountain Goat
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20 Jul 2021, 8:07 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
Mountain Goat wrote:
It is a falacy that chips make them more secure. We have them with what we call a swipe payment where all one has to do is wave the card above a card reader. It is VERY insecure as thieves have found ways to use their smartphones or they buy card reading devices and it they walk close enough past the wallet or purse in the pocket or handbag of an innocent passerby they can steal money out of their account. We have had this system since tey started to instal microchips in cards. It is a VERY insecure system. When we did not have the microchipped cards, one had to check the signature was the same as the one on the card, and they also had to enter a pin number in a machine for some payments. They first said these chips were for "Chip and pin" systems but the old system basically did that anyway when using a cash machine.

I think we may be talking about two different kinds of microchips. You're apparently talking about RFID chips, which aren't the same thing as EMV chips.

The contactless payments you're speaking of require RFID chips, which emit radio signals, whereas EMV chips do not emit radio signals and have to be "dipped." For more about the difference, see Can New Chip-Enabled Credit Cards Be Hacked Wirelessly? The Trick Radio Ploy by Dan Rafter Updated: Jun 17, 2021.

Here in the U.S.A., or at least here in NYC, EMV chips are much more common than RFID chips. Not very many stores around here use RFID chip readers, at least.

Also, if you do have RFID chip cards, there are ways to protect them. According to the above-linked article, "If you do have RFID cards in your wallet, you can protect yourself by buying an RFID-blocking sleeve or special wallets or purses that are designed to block the signal from readers."


Thanks for the reply. I am learning.

I covered my cards with tin foil but I was being looked at wierdly from others as I unwrapped the cards. My brother said that it is because drug users put tin foil in their wallets. Is this because they want to protect their cards too?