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Langford pub hit again by bank card scam

Jul 25 2012

At least five debit card numbers have been stolen from customers of Langford’s Station House Pub as the owner continues to battle financial security breaches.

West Shore RCMP recently obtained two debit card readers they believe to have been compromised as early as June.

Police first reported in early July that a sophisticated hacker had obtained credit-card numbers from more than 50 people who were at the same pub.

Two weeks ago they learned from the banks that a debit machine at the pub had also been compromised between June 18 and June 21, say police, who encourage customers to carefully examine their statements.

“If you have any discrepancies, cancel the card immediately and contact the RCMP as well,” said West Shore RCMP spokesman Sgt. Max Fossum. “People are contacting the banks, but not getting the information to us and it’s kind of stalling the investigation.”

Police say there may not be a link between the first credit card incident and the latest debit card thefts.

The hacker in the credit card thefts bypassed a faulty firewall and had full access to dozens of cards through the pub’s payment processing software. Vancouver Island’s commercial crime unit called it the most sophisticated data breach in years.

Pub owner Bill Beadle has since updated his firewall, said Fossum.

The consumer crime unit investigated the debit card readers two weeks ago and obtained one machine that was used to obtain information from at least five customers. On Monday, they confiscated a second machine, which they also believe has been tampered with.

Fossum said it is easy for someone to take an pin pad and replace it. “All it takes is 10 seconds.”

Police are also asking business owners to buy devices that can bolt the pin pad to a counter to ensure it cannot be removed.

Beadle plans to take that advice and will be bolting his machines down, said Fossum.

dspalding@timescolonist.com

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