Dabbling in Credit Card Fraud

Dabbling in Credit Card Fraud

Written by RedBoxChiliPepper on February 15, 1995

For Informational Purposes Only. We're Not Responsible For Your Stupidity.
So, you want to be a credit card fraudster? Well, it's not that good of an idea because Visa & Mastercard are really getting annoyed at people who are screwing them over all the time and they're supposedly in the process of re-vamping the validation process and a lot of other things to catch the horrbile satanic feinds that use unauthorized cards.

However, if you really want to give it a try, here's all the info that I know based on what I've tried and gotten away with in the past. I never had the actual card, just the card number and I improvised on the rest. Also, I'll explain how I was busted right here in beautiful Corpus Christi awhile back.

Obtaining Credit Card Numbers:

I think the most popular method of getting a credit card number is digging around in a dumpster behind a big retail store or some other business that uses credit cards so you can find a few reciepts. It's never really worked for me, though. I've gotten very few credit cards this way and the few I did get were just by chance, nothing I was really looking for. In my opinion there's a lot easier ways to get credit card numbers.

Impersonating Visa:
This one is my favorite. This is how I've gotten just about every one of my Visa/MCs. All you have to do is call up a store such as a 7-Eleven, Tanning Salon, Florist, any business that uses a credit card and talk them out of their number. Even Burger King will work although they don't get a lot of credit card business there. Here's how a typical conversation would go if you called a Circle K:

CRK: Circle K, May I help you?
YOU: Hi, this is Bill from Visa. I was just
     returning your call?
CRK: Huh?
YOU: I just received a page regarding a
     problem with your Visa credit card
     machine. Were you having problems there?
CRK: No, not that I know of. Nobody here
     paged you. Who is this again?
YOU: This is Bill with Visa/Mastercard
     international. When there's some kind
     of an error on your validation system
     the machine will page us with the
     problem. Did you just have a credit card
CRK: Well, I had one about 15 minutes ago...
YOU: That's probably the one that didn't go
     through then. Could you dig up the
     receipt there and tell me the exact time
     that the transaction occured?
CRK: Hold on...Okay, here it is. I made the
     sale at 7:43 pm and it was for a
     beer and some chips.
YOU: Okay, you smelly Circle K guy, I don't
     need to know all that, just the time, you
     fucking horrid bastard. What was the amount
     of the sale?
CRK: $13.94
YOU: And the account number? It'll be 13 or 16
     digits starting with a 4 or 5.
CRK: It's 4053-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx.
YOU: And the expiration date?
CRK: I don't think I should give this out on the
     phone without talking to my manager.
YOU: Well, your manager isn't there, is he? Besides,
     the date isn't important. I got the card number
     and I can just improvise on the date and cause a
     lot of damage with that alone. Thank you very
     much and have a nice day.
It's as easy as that. If you don't believe me, pick up your phone book, dial Circle K and try it yourself. After they give you a card number you can say something like, "No, that's not the one...Let me have the information off of the transaction before that..." and get a second card number on the same phone call. My record is three working card numbers on a single call. There's this Ammoco in Indianapolis that I used to call over and over every few days and get more card numbers and they all just thought it was a routine legitimate thing. "Oh, hi Bill! It's you again...Let me get my receipts..."

The best time to call is in the evening. This is because the managers usually work in the mornings and are gone by 5pm and there's a lot of business in the evenings which means a lot of credit card transactions. If you call in the morning you'll usually end up with a manager and they aren't as likely to give you a number as an employee. (But they still do 50% of the time.) You can call on the graveyard shift in the middle of the night and talk to the stupid guy but usually there aren't many credit cards used late at night and the stupid guy can't figure out what you're talking about.

This will work at about any small kind of place where the cashier is also the person who answers the phone. Don't try a big grocery store like Kroger or you won't get very far. Tanning salons are a good start. (Dumb blondes working there.) Hardware stores. (Dumb hicks that don't know a credit card from a table saw.) Auto Service Shops. (You know what THOSE guys are like.) Florists get a LOT of credit cards it seems so I stick with them. If you want the absolute stupidest people, get the yellow pages of Indianapolis, Indiana. That's where I've had my best luck, although your local yellow pages will work just as well.

Working At A Store:
If you're the guy that actually works at a store that takes Mastercard and Visa then you're in for oodles of fun. Usually your machine won't print the name of the card owner and the name is always a bonus to have so while you're waiting for the printout of the transaction, memorize the name on the card. Also if you're allowed, ask to see a driver's license so you'll have their name and address.

After their gone, write down their name and everything you know about them and get their credit card number off of the reciept. Do this all day and just make sure your manager or the surveilence cameras don't see you doing all this. Also, if your business takes credit cards, somewhere around there is a box full of old receipts from the pervious months. Grab a few bundles of these and you won't have to do any work at all.

If you have a friend that works in a place where he had access to cards, bribe him to give you the numbers in exchange for something else like carded merchandise, codes, sexual favors, anything. Remember that getting them from a friend would be really stupid. There's the security risk, (can you trust this friend really?) and you have to split the profits. Better to just call up random businesses and get them yourself.

This idea came from Agent69 of Phreaks of the Industry. I can't believe I never thought of it myself. Find a telemarketing building where they take credit card phone orders. Get into the nearby Telco box or the Network Interface on the back of their building and hook up a tap. Either a tape recorder or a radio transmitter will work.

Now listen in when they start calling people and when they finally take an order write down all the information. You'll have the card number, expiration date, name on the card, address, everything.

Making Sure Your Card Isn't Dead:

You'll want to make sure you're not wasting your time with a dead card by calling the Visa/Mastercard validation service and checking your card to make sure it's good. First of all, you have to get a valid merchant number and bank number.

Obtaining A Visa/Mastercard Validator:
Merchant numbers and bank number are pretty easy to come by. Basically, you just call up the business (convienence stores are the best) and tell them you're from Visa/Mastercard Authorization or something important like that. Then tell them that you need their merchant number. After they give you that, ask for their bank number. Employees usually don't think it's bad to give out this kind of information. After all, they're not giving out CARD numbers.

Another way to get a merchant and bank number is to hang around the credit card machine in a store and look around the counter and on the machine. Some- where taped on the counter or on the machine will be a piece of paper that has the merchant number, bank number and the number to call to voice validate a card. Write all these down when the clerk isn't looking at you or just grab the credit card machine and run out the door with it.

Making The Validation Call:
The reason a voice validation exists is so that if the store's credit card machine breaks down the employees can call this number to get validation on a credit card. You don't even have to sound official or anything. A lot of times the person making the call to the voice validator is some idiot gas station guy who doesn't know what he's doing so you don't try and sound important or anything unless you really feel like it.

1. You call the voice validator. The number that I've always used is 1-800-944-1111. If all the operators are busy, you'll get an automated validation system. This is actually a lot easier to use.

2. The lady will say something like, "Could I have the card number, please?" Tell her the Visa/MC card number. Then she'll ask you for the expiration date so give it to her. If you don't have it, make something up as long as you don't use the date 04/83.

3. She'll now want your bank and merchant number. Read those off to her.

4. When she asks for the amount of the purchase, don't go more than ten bucks. I usually say something like $1.95 for the total amount. (Pack of cigs or something.) The reason is, when you do all this, the amount that you give is going to be charged to their card. So if you say $123.94 that's what they'll be charged. Then when you're making your fraudelent purchase, your chances of going over their limit increase. So keep the amount low.

5. She'll say thank you and you'll hear an automated voice giving you a six digit authorization code. This code is useless so don't even bother writing it down unless you just want to feel cool.

I have no idea what this does to the business's credit card inventory. When they run the end of the day reports, they might be a $1.95 (or whatever) over in cash because of your call. I've always been paranoid about using the same merchant numbers over and over because of this so I use different ones each time. If you don't get a good authorization code then your card is no good and you shouldn't use it. Cross it off and try another one.

Obtaining A Post Office Box:

If you're going to do a lot of mail ordering, you need to have a place to ship everything. You're best bet is a post office box. Now don't go to the United States Post Office because they'll give you an address like "P.O.Box 4161, Normal, Illinois..." and mail order companies are wary of sending merchandise to post office boxes.

Instead find a privately owned post office like Mail Boxes Etc. or something similar. The address you'll have will be a real street number and address (The address to Mailboxes Etc.) and your box number will be listed as a Suite! So your address would look something like, "2382 Lloyd Center, Suite 204." Doesn't that look like the address to a condo or something?

The price will vary but will always pay for itself. Usually the average price for one of those boxes is around $10-15 a month, sometimes even cheaper. Another advantage to the normal U.S. post office is that these private mailbox people will sign for all of your Federal Express and UPS packages! Then you'll get a little card in your box saying, "Please come to the counter and pick up your package."

You need some I.D. to get a post office box and I'm not going to get into I.D. making right now so you'll have to figure out that part for yourself. Usually they want a picture I.D. and anything else. Many have taken a photocopy of my driver's license (altered) with no problems. ("Yeah, I lost my originals.") It would probably be unwise to keep the same box for more than two months. It'll take that long for the card owners to figure out that something is wrong and for them to stake out the p.o.box and bust you, I would guess. I have kept the same box for four months once and nothing out of the ordinary happened so maybe I'm just paranoid. We did a LOT of carding on that box too!

Oh, and while you have this post office box you want to get the best use possible out of it so here are some tips outside of credit card fraud to get lots of neat stuff to show up at your box:

  • Columbia House and BMG. Need I say more?
  • Book clubs. Go to the library and look in magazines for the different book clubs and fill out their cards for your first few selections. They'll send you these books right away with a bill. Throw away the bill.
  • Also, fill out subscription cards for a bunch of magazines and check the "bill me" option.
  • This is the perfect place to send a bunch of out of state phone books to.
  • Calling Card time! Call up random phone company billing offices around the U.S.A. and change people's billing addresses to your P.O.Box. Tell them that you'll be on vacation in this state. Then, call back and order a calling card for the same person. This is a great way to start a collection of all the different calling cards around the United States.
  • Apply for credit. Your P.O.Box allows you to have several names listed on it to recieve mail. Use a name of somebody you know who has really good credit and start filling out credit card applications in their name and your post office box's address. Real credit cards are fun!

    Different Types Of Scams:

    Now you've got your good credit card number and a post office box. What do you do with it? Here's a few ideas to get you started...

    Free Airline Tickets:
    This is what I started out doing and is how I got to see a lot of the United States. Flying around the world for nothing is quite fun AND you get free meals too! The easiest way is to order the airline tickets through a local travel agency. Find one that looks good and call it.

    TVA: Scamproof Travel, how may I help you?
    YOU: Hi, my kid had called there earlier
         inquiring about a trip and I just
         want to go ahead and set that up. He'll
         be flying up here to Chicago to
         spend a few months with me.
    TVA: Okay, I'd be happy to help you...
    Just give them the information that they want. She'll want the date of travel, where you're going and your name, address, phone, etc, etc. It's best to have it already planned out on a piece of paper. Write down your "son's" name and address and "your" name and address. "Your" name and address will be in the city that you're flying to. Also have a contact number in case they want to call you. (This can be a telco silent line or a VMB you have set up.)

    TVA: And how will you be paying for this?
    YOU: Well, is it possible to put this on my Visa card?
    TVA: Sure! Could I have that number?
    She'll give you your son's flight number and all that junk. Write everything down. To make it seem more realistic I always inquire about the weather where she is and make stupid little small talk like all typical grownups do. Before you go in to pick up your tickets, call the travel agency and say you're having trouble finding the place and could she give you directions. This is a security precaution. If there's a problem with the card or anything else is wrong, she'll probably tell you. (Or it'll show in her voice.) By the way, if you don't like to fly, almost all travel agencies offer Amtrack tickets as well. It's the same process to order them.

    If the card didn't work (you went over the limit) then you can either go to another travel agency or call back and try another card number saying that you're wife must have maxed out the card or something. After you read about my must, you'd probably want to try another travel agency. Before you actually get on the plane, call the airline (not the travel agency) and confirm your reservations. Again, this is a security precaution I've always taken to make sure there's no problems. So far there never has been.

    Another way to get tickets would be to call the actual airline and order it directly from them. They'll charge an additional $30-$50 this way, but you can afford that, can't you? The only problem is that they will almost always call the bank that issued the card and verify the information on the card. So if you're going to do it this way, use the card owner's real name and address. Also, have their phone calls forwarded to you so you can answer their phone when the airline calls you back. If you did it right, the ticket will be waiting at the counter for you in the airport.

    I would suggest not going round trip. If you take a vacation to Florida and while you're there they figure out something screwy's going on and have the feds waiting for you in the airport or just cancel the ticket, you're screwed. Better to assume that you're going to have to get a new ticket when you arrive and if that doesn't work out, use the round trip ticket as backup.

    In some cities it's impossible to get a travel agency to take a credit card over the phone from a "father" so you'll have to be sneakier. They want you to fax them a copy of the credit card and sometimes your driver's license. I've had this problem in Los Angeles, Miami and most of Corpus Cristi. My solution was to find another city close by and try flying out of that one. In one case, we had a girl we knew pick up the ticket in another state and mail it to us. If you've got a scanner and editing program and some fax software, you could try faxing that card to 'em.

    Free Internet:

    There's a lot of boards out there that offer internet access with a creidt card payment on-line. A few even automatically validate the card while you're on-line and give you access immediately. If you're calling locally, divert! Don't make direct calls because they might trace, although I think it's harder to do that on a ring-down number.

    Free Merchandise:

    Here's where the big bucks are and this is why you made a fake I.D. and went out to get a post office box. It's also a good idea to set up a local voice mailbox when you do this so that the companies will be able to call you if there's a problem with the card and they won't get suspicious about fraud because you have a real phone number.

    Dig out all your mail order catalogs. Computer Shopper is the most popular. Anything you can imagine is available through mail order. Computer stuff, clothes, jewlry, houseware, everything. Sit yourself at a pay phone for a few hours and just go crazy ordering merchandise from different companies, giving the your fake name and post office box and voicemail number. Try not to use the same card for more than two purchases so it'll be less likely that the card will go dead.

    The backs of almost any magazine will have ads for merchandise you can order with a credit card. (God, I hope you're not reading Playboy!) Just go crazy ordering things for the next two months. Tell the post office people that you're running a mail order supply house or something lame like that if they wonder why you're getting all this stuff. Order lots of stuff that you don't really even need. You can always sell it or give it to friends.

    Places like Office Max and Office Depot also offer home and office delivery. You can order things from their catalog with a credit card and have them deliver it to your box and the post office lady will sign it for you.

    Voice Mailboxes:

    Almost all the nicer voicemail companies will let you order your voicemail service over the phone and give your credit card number. They'll immediately activate your service and send you a paper and credit card statement to sign so it's good to have a post office box for them to send this to if you want your box to last more than a week.

    Any company will let you pay in advance as long as you want. So you can go ahead and order one year's worth of service onto the card. And don't get the little flimsy individual service. Go all out! Get the mega-businessman enhanced service with all the toys. You can afford it!

    All the VMBs I've done on a credit card have lasted at least two months. A few of them somehow get overlooked and last until the service is over with, eight months later. (My most recent one actually lasted seven months!) Use caution with what information is traded over the VMB. The owners of the service might be listening to all your messages and taking notes of the phone numbers and other things left in your box. Not good.

    Free Miscelleneous Services:

    Places like hair salons, detists and eye care will always take credit cards. All you have to do is call them up and say, "Yeah, my son is going to college down there and it's about time he had an eye doctor's appointment..." Explain that you'd like your son to come in and ask if it's possible for you to give them your credit card as payment.

    Usually it's no problem. Not only did I get an eye exam last year, but I got a free pair of glasses and contact lenses! The hardest to do is get a haircut like this. Just about every hair place I've tried won't accept a card over the phone. I'm paranoid to actually go into the dentist. He'll have me strapped into the chair and fire up his drill..."Now WHAT did you say your father's credit card number was? Hmmmmmm?" I've had nightmares about this.

    Phone Order/Pick-Up Services:

    There's a few stores out there that'll let you order something on their toll free hotline and then go into the store and pick it up. So call the hotline and order something and say you're sending your "son" in to pick it up. When the order is ready, walk into the store and tell them who you are. They might want to see your I.D. but usually not. They'll have you sign a paper and give you your merchandise.

    Before you go in, call them and say, "Yeah, my dad had something shipped there for me but I'm not sure where you're located." They'll be happy to help you and if there were any problems with the card, they'll most likely tell you about them now instead of when you go in to pick it up. The best place to do this kind of thing are Office Max and Office Depot. Don't get too expensive or they'll want to see the card.

    Phone Calls:

    AT&T decided to rake in even more money by accepting Visa, Mastercard and American Express cards to place long distance phone calls. Using a credit card has quite a few advantages to using calling cards. Then only thing that sucks about it is that it takes a little bit longer to complete the call.

    Dial 10288-0-AREA CODE-NUMBER. When AT&T asks for your card number, enter the complete Visa or Mastercard number. An operator will come on and say, "What type of card are you using?" and you tell her which one. Then she says, "Please hold and I'll get you the validation operator." The validation operator comes on and asks for your expiration date and sometimes your batch number. The batch number is their new security feature and I just read them the first four numbers of the card number and that seems to make them happy enough.

    She'll say thank you and put your call through. When you're done with the call you can hit the "#" key and dial a new number just like with a calling card but you'll have to read off your expiration date again and that takes about 30-60 seconds. The advantage is that a credit card will last until the owner gets the bill and shuts it off, regardless of how many different states calls are being placed from and to. As of this writing, though, they don't allow any international calling.

    RBCP's Bust:

    Recently I was finally busted. Actually, that's the reason I'm writing this file. Before I wasn't sure writing a file would be a good idea but now that I've quit credit card fraud forever, what the hell? (I always promised myself that when I got busted for credit cards, I would quit for good!)

    I pretty much screwed myself by breaking my own rules. I flew my girlfriend to Corpus to visit from Portland, Oregon. A week later I started calling travel agencies around town to book a flight back to Oregon only to find that this is one of those towns that won't take a credit card over the phone without me faxing a copy of the card to them. Finally, I found a travel agency that would work.

    I set up the tickets on a card I got from calling a local 7-Eleven. For some reason, though, I didn't call and make sure the card was good and it ended up being a bad card. We went in to get the tickets and she couldn't give them to us because the card was dead. She tried calling my "dad" in Portland (a VMB that I set up on a card) but she kept getting the message. Go figure. So I told her that we'd come back later today or tomorrow after I'd talked to my dad.

    We walked over to Office Depot and called the travel agency. I told the lady, "This is RBCP's father..." and I'd just got her messages, etc, etc. I ended up giving her a different card and it didn't go through either. So, I said I must just be over my limit because of the holiday season just getting over with and gave her another Visa and it went through fine.

    Later, we walked back over there. This time, Colleen stayed at the pay phone to play and I went in to pick up the tickets. The lady smiled and said if I'd have a seat she'd be right with me. Ten minutes went by and I'm starting to think that this isn't usually the way customers are treated. Then a police officer walks in and says, "Could I have a word with you?"

    The next hour I sat in a cop car as the police went through my backpack. They were really interested in the items I was carrying and wanted to know WHY I had a cell phone, police scanner, pocket organizer, tone dialer, voice organizer, etc. They went over to where Colleen was using the phone and started going through her stuff. All this time she thought she was being busted for red boxing until she saw me in the back of the police car.

    So that's it. Not that interesting of a story, but that's what happened to me. I ended up spending one lousy night in a holding type cell (not jail) and got out the next evening. I'm still waiting for my court date and they say it'll most likely just be a fine and/or restitution.

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