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Tin foil hat crowd stifles mom-and-pop store payments

Payment device infection

In one weekend, at least three retailers in Kansas City, Mo. fell victim to credit card scammers whose ruse involved scaling roofs to cover satellite dishes with aluminum foil.  

This is how the shoplifting went down: A crook inside would swipe a counterfeit, maxed-out or stolen card. The foil would cutoff satellite communications that normally allow transactions to go through to the credit card company. Since payments aren’t processed at small stores immediately, the suspect jets before the retailer realizes the transaction has been rejected.

“Owners and managers should be on the lookout for anyone climbing on store roofs,” KCTV reported. “Police are working to determine if the crooks are using a fence, ladder or the roof of a vehicle to gain access to the roofs. “

At one of the three businesses hit, the suspect used a fraudulent card to purchase $1,665 worth of cigarettes.

“If a satellite is covered with foil, contact police immediately and do not remove the foil. Officers will need to process the area as a crime scene,” the television station reported.

This type of crime has happened in other parts of the country, according to authorities. 

ThreatWatch is a regularly updated catalog of data breaches successfully striking every sector of the globe, as reported by journalists, researchers and the victims themselves.


Financial Services; Manufacturing


September 23, 2013

reported by


number affected


location of breach

Missouri, United States



location of perpetrators

Missouri, United States

date breach occurred

September 21, 2013

date breach detected

September 2013