Monday, July 10, 2017

Gas station skimmer theft in White Plains, NY at Exxon Mobile station pump one run by Chestnut Mart.

White Plains, a city of about 50,000, is the county seat for the mostly affluent Westchester County, NY, which borders New York City to the north.

A White Plains resident was the victim of having his credit card number, but not the card, stolen while trying to pump gasoline into his car. The fact that the card itself was not stolen is significant.

Thursday July 6, 2017 at 2:58 PM the victim's credit card failed in its first attempt at the gas station at:

Exxon Mobile run by Chestnut Mart
174 Westchester Avenue (corner of South Kensico)
White Plains, NY 10601

Westchester Avenue is a very busy street and pump one, while one of the furthest from the Chestnut Mart convenience store that administers this gas station and others in the county, is clearly visible to MANY cars, including those stopped at that traffic light intersection.

The credit card was accepted on a second attempt and gas was pumped. The receipt for the first attempt had this URL on the back:

myexxonmobilevisit.com

The victim received an email message from his bank at 7:26 PM that same day, about 3.5 hours after the credit card number was probably stolen:

Subject: Account Alert: Credit Card Used Online, by Phone or by Mail

Account: Credit card ending in nnnn
Amount: $468.00
Made at: SEATGEEK EXCHANGE
On: July 06, 2017

This transaction occurred either online, by phone, by mail or at a physical location where the merchant keyed in your card number.

If you don't recognize this transaction, please call us at 800-nnn-nnnn
____________________

The victim called his bank about 11:45 PM and the call went past midnight. The bank stopped payment, cancelled the credit card number and mailed a new credit card with a new number in a cardboard envelope via UPS, which arrived Saturday, July 8.

The next morning the victim went to website myexxonmobilevisit.com and clearly informed Exxon Mobile of the theft and asked to be contacted but the oil company has not done so.

Before 7:00 AM July 7 the victim also went to the Chestnut Mart convenience store at the gas station and briefly spoke to a young male person behind the counter. When informed that a credit card had been stolen, he quickly took out multiple cards. When informed that only the number had been stolen but not the physical card, he showed no concern or interest.

The crook foolishly tried to buy tickets at seatgeek.com. After an exchange of messages with people at that online website located in New York City:
- How could any online transaction have occurred without the three digit security code on the back of the credit card and also without the expiration month/year of the card? That question was never even addressed by the seatgeek.com people.
- Even after supplying the cancelled last four digits of the credit card to seatgeek.com, they could find nothing in their database to indicate what tickets the crook attempted to purchase. Really?

Presumably, these would be digital tickets and the crook would need to either sell to another or use his own smartphone to gain entry to the event. Any competent and timely action should have been able to identify the tickets and phone resulting in either an arrest or really good information for further investigation and crime prevention.

The New York State Attorney General was informed via an online complaint form and that office sent this email acknowledgement:

from: westchester.regional@ag.ny.gov
date: Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 10:20 AM
subject: Attention: Notification of Consumer Frauds Complaint Received
signed-by: ag.ny.gov
_______________________________

The FBI was informed at https://complaint.ic3.gov/default.aspx?#. No reply yet. The FBI online form requested the credit card account number and it was supplied as that number had been deactivated.

The victim tried to report the crime to the Westchester County District Attorney but ...

Westchester County website: westchestergov.com
Westchester County DA Website: westchesterda.net

The DA has his own website. Wait, it gets worse:

http://www.westchesterda.net/contact-us/complaint-form

... download, print and complete the compaint form...

The form MUST be mailed to the District Attorney's office to the address on the form.

We do not accept complaints via fax or e-mail.

_________________________

Yes, complaint is spelled incorrectly on the Westchester County DA website. And the Westchester County DA does not even accept a fax, you know, the way people could order a pizza in 1985. Many of us have not had a printer this millennium.

A message about the Westchester County DA was sent to the Westchester County executive and the Westchester County legislator representing the City of White Plains.

Gas station skimmer theft rising

to: Rob Astorino <ce@westchestergov.com>,
Benjamin Boykin <benboy78@aol.com>
date: Sat, Jul 8, 2017 at 9:38 AM
subject: Gas station skimmer theft rising

http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/year-of-gas-station-skimmer-1282.php

County Executive and legislator,

Hey, tell the District Attorney. Impossible to contact DA office other than by phone. Complaints must be on DA paper form.

Oh, I was a victim of this in White Plains. Maybe the county legislators can hold DA accountable.

I just filled out an online complaint with the FBI. Yesterday I did that with New York State AG.

Westchester County should be embarrassed.

_________________________

Additional messages were sent to County Executive Astorino and legislator Boykin with more information, including:

A quick search finds plenty of jurisdictions where they inspect pumps and put stickers on them and educate constituents. I read that this crime is sometimes used to launder money, so it's not just some low level creep. And the businesses that run these gas stations, both the oil company and the convenience store, need to be held accountable and liable. Let them pay for those tickets charged to my account, not the bank, which just passes the cost along to all of us.

No reply by either.

1 comment:

SteveFL said...

So crime comes to Westchester, a type of crime that exists in many places. Not a particularly cutting edge, high tech crime, but one that does use technology at its core. And Westchester is stuck in the 20th century. You can't even report the crime via one of the most ubiquitous communications mechanisms--email--in history. Fabulous. And the DA's website for some reason cannot follow the common dictate of using a .GOV address, because, well,... because. And they can't hire someone who can proofread. Even more fabulous. Glad I no longer work in White Plains.

To make it worse, humans involved seem to lack any concern that this crime took place. The person who actually sold the gas at the gas station shrugged it off. The company whose gas was sold at that gas station never responded to the victim's request to discuss the matter. The crook used the stolen credit card number to buy tickets to an event of some sort. The company that sold the tickets allowed the sale to go thru even though only the card number was used - no ccv number, no expiration date.

Does anyone care? Do you?