Update: This story is consistently my top referral from search engines, and I’m sick of people finding my site while searching for methods to commit theft. So I have altered the text of this article to make it harder to locate with search engines. I apologize for this article being a bit hard to read.
Disinfotainment presents the latest horrific discovery in Japan, a new way to secretly steal your c r e d 1 t c a r d data using Wi-Fi technology. This video from FujiTV (4min25sec, English and Japanese subtitles) explains how the wireless s k 1 m m e r scam works.
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S k 1 m m 1 n g c r e d 1 t c a r d numbers isn’t particularly unusual, many portable s k 1 m m e r s are in use today, I’ve even had my own c r e d 1 t c a r d s k 1 m m e d and my own accounts raided for thousands of dollars. Recently a top-class Tokyo hotel made a startling discovery, someone secretly installed a c r e d 1 t c a r d s k 1 m m e r inside the restaurant’s normal c r e d 1 t c a r d authorization device. The s k 1 m m e r was connected to a Wi-Fi transmitter so the numbers could be secretly recorded from a laptop computer anywhere within 100 meters. If the restaurant staff hadn’t noticed someone tampered with their machine, the crime might never have been discovered, and the thief could have sat outside the restaurant in his car skimming numbers and nobody could ever connect him with the crime.
But this is only the tip of the iceberg. Similar devices were discovered in 6 other restaurants in Tokyo. The scam had previously been discovered in Malaysia, so of course this new crime wave is blamed on foreign devils. This is fairly typical of Japanese news reportage. I was particularly amused by the Japanese loan word for s k i m m e r, sukima, which sounds more like “schemer.” And that’s just what it is, the product of an audacious schemer.