Contactless bank cards

Ian Batten igb at
Tue Nov 16 10:32:07 GMT 2010

>> , at £10 each, seems a rather small
>> crime)
> Not to my son, who is paid minimum wage. 

I don't mean to the victim, I mean to the perpetrators, given the complexity of the undertaking.

To people interested in contactless cards, there's a tacit assumption that criminals will attack them if they are attackable.  In reality, criminals will only attack them if the risk/reward and effort/reward outweighs other crimes they might commit: this is the sort of crime that implies rational actors, not people doin' thrill-seeker liquor store holdups with a "Born to Lose" tattoo on their chest.

> It needn't be the actual merchant doing it. It could be a dishonest till operator. You pocket cash out of the till, and make up the shortfall with phoney card transactions. All the merchant knows is that he has sold 1000 doughnuts today and taken a total of £3,500 in cash and bank debits; he can't check how each doughnut was paid for. 

I can't think of any shop keeper who wouldn't spot that immediately.   In small places, the till is separate to the pos system, so the till will come up short.  In larger places, the pos system balances them separately.


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