Although the bank card issuers tend to sweep reports of how fraudsters commit their card fraud under their large corporate carpets, the odd local press story does creep out.
And this is what's happened in the Cleveland press in the US, where a fraudster is said to have explained to police how the fraud is committed.
Rather than use gift cards and blank mag stripe cards, it seems that crims are now re-using stolen credit and debit cards, even when the legitimate card owner has reported it stolen or lost.
The reason, it seems, is that the first 10 digits on many credit cards are the same as they usually identify the card type and the bank issuer.
Crims are now using razor blades to shave off the last few digits from the card and then use a steam iron to flatten the raised edges of the embossed numbers.
They then shave off the numbers they need - usually from a gift card - and superglue them onto the card being altered.
From there, it's a simple matter to re-record the magnetic stripe and voila! one modified card that's good to go.
After explaining to the police how it was done, the fraudster apparently pleaded guilty to ten charges and was given a 52 month prison sentence plus a $25,000 fine under a state negotiated deal.
A negotiated deal? Whew. I wonder what would have happened if the fraudster had pleaded not guilty...