Clinton Police Warn of ‘Credit Card Cloning'

Police in Clinton are warning people about tech-savvy thieves who are "cloning" credit cards to steal money. The idea of cloning a credit or debit card is a foreign concept to some people in town.

“Don’t do it to me," Robert King said.

"I’ll get you," he said with a smile.

To other people, the incidents are serving as a reminder that their money might never be completely safe.

“They are taking advantage of innocent people who are just trying to get along on what they make," Terry Berg, of nearby Westbrook, said.

Two men were caught on security camera at a Stop & Shop in Clinton and the pair can be seen going inside the store to allegedly make hundreds of dollars in fraudulent credit card purchases.

“The technology is the problem," King said. "I think they’ve got to find a way to make it more fool-proof.”

Cloning debit and credit cards in the United States is quite simple, according to technology experts.

The magnetic strip technology on the back of most cards is about four decades old and many experts believe that someone with the right computer program and a card reader can clone a card.

“It’s amazing how intelligent some of these people are and they put it to bad use," Berg said.

Police said the rightful owner of the card's information is from the Hartford area and investigators believe that it is likely that the card was cloned there.

“They traveled all the way down here to Clinton and who knows where they’re going to hit next," Berg said.

Experts believe that cards with newer smart chip technology might be more difficult to clone.

Still, they recommend card users always monitor their receipts and statements.

Also, they urge people never to let their credit or debit cards leave their sight - even in a restaurant. When in doubt, they recommend using cash.

One of the suspects in the Clinton incident is described as a slender man in his 20 with brown hair. He vehicle was described as a black BMW, possibly a 335i.

Anyone with information about the case should call Clinton Police Sgt. Joe Flynn or OFC Matt Reed at (860)669-0451.

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