Hackers have figured out that anybody who is willing to shell out 5 bucks for a cup of coffee have money to burn.
So, shouldn’t be a big surprise that hackers are going right after Starbucks frequenters.
Here’s the scoop on the hack …
According to CNBC:
Credit card hackers looking for new ways to drain money from consumers’ bank accounts and evade increased bank security measures have discovered a clever side door—the Starbucks mobile payment app and gift cards.
Criminals are hijacking consumers’ coffee accounts, draining the stored value of their cards, and then using Starbucks’ auto-reload function to hack consumers’ associated debit and credit cards.
Said differently, crooks can jack ID info when a mobile transaction is taking place.
Then, they can transfer the funds loaded on the card to another payment or gift card.
Draining the account to zero triggers the SBUX card to reload … usually automatically from a customers bank.
The crooks can transfer the reloaded funds to another account and, more important, they can often decode the customer’s banking information.
That’s when the big problems start to happen.
If a customer doesn’t get (and check) real-time alerts, a lot of dough can change hands very quickly.
According to a Gartner analyst:
The scheme is part of a new fraud trend.
Credit card hackers are targeting third-party firms that create alternative payment systems and attacking them, finding they are often easier to hack than financial institutions.
Fraud is moving away from banks into big e-commerce companies.
Criminals are learning how to turn rewards programs, points and prepaid cards into cash.
Bottom line: Be aware that your cell phone is probably your weakest security link … and be careful with cards that auto-reload.
Keep your bank info tightly guarded, or you won’t have the 5 bucks to buy a Latte.