local alert: ATM fraud in Costa Mesa

If you used a check card to buy gasoline in Costa Mesa, and you have an account at WaMu or Wells Fargo, check your account activity. At least 440 people have had their accounts compromised, and at least $100,000 has been stolen so far.

Article from the LA Times at topix.net at this link. Sadly the article does not say which two gas stations were involved.

11 thoughts on “local alert: ATM fraud in Costa Mesa

  1. This is all I could find. From abc7:
    The Arco gas station targeted in Westminster is at Westminster Boulevard and Willow Lane.
    Torrance Police are not releasing the location of the gas station targeted there.
    Costa Mesa Police will only say the two gas stations targeted there are ones that are not open 24 hours.

  2. The pump is an easier place to sneak in a card reader tool than a bank machine!
    Debit cards carry weaker liability protections than credit cards in ALL cases, My own broker has assured me of 100% protection if I notify them speedily. I was strongly considering abandoning debit cards when they made this very clear, because the lower liability protections make debit cards more popular than credit cards with crooks.

  3. This article was also in the O.C. Register sighting Applebee’s in Fountain Valley and a Huntington Beach Ralph’s as also being targets.
    This happened to me about ten years ago at an Arco on Brookhurst and Ellis in Fountain Valley. My bank covered the money stolen and was able to tract the locations where withdrawals were made. Everyone gives you the stinkeye when you pull out a checkbook nowadays, but tough shit. I’ve never been good about carrying enough cash to anticipate what I might spend, plus alot of change from the cash gets piddled away and you end up spending much more then intended. We’ve all been romanced into the ease of the debit cards, but any kid can gets these skimmers off the internet and put it to use.

  4. ah superb! not only do I have *both* a wamu and wells account, but I have made about 6 gas purchases this month in Costa Mesa. Looking at online accounts now…

    1. Avoid using your PIN. Use your debit card as a credit card instead, so that the PIN can’t be captured.
      The problem with the ARCO stations is that they won’t do this, because it costs them a few cents more per transaction. So, don’t get gas at ARCO or buy things at stores that won’t let you use a check card as a credit card.

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