Watch out for shoulder-surfing at the checkout counter

A man who cashed $300,000 worth of counterfeit checks using personal information stolen by peeking over the shoulders of hundreds of Wal-Mart customers was sentenced to prison Thursday.

Robert MacVittie and his wife lined up behind customers trying to cash payroll checks at “dozens and dozens” of Wal-Mart stores in 20 states and recorded them providing their Social Security numbers, Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Melucci said at the hearing where MacVittie received a 34-month sentence. The couple would then use the victims’ identities to create counterfeit checks, which they cashed at other Wal-Marts.

Melucci called MacVittie, 35, and his wife Jennifer, 32, “the Bonnie and Clyde of counterfeit checks…”

More than 400 people had their identities used on the successfully cashed counterfeit checks, Melucci said.

In all, the MacVitties stole or attempted to steal the identities of more than 900 people, Melucci said. They failed to cash more than $600,000 in other counterfeit checks…

The fraud started in October 2013 and the couple was finally arrested at a Nevada casino in November 2014, Melucci said…

MacVittie was also ordered to repay Wal-Mart for the check losses. Half of his menial prison salary will go toward that debt, as well as 10 percent of any wages he earns after his release from prison.

ApplePay and similar electronic means of checkout absolutely rule. We prefer the former because encryption is guaranteed. The checker doesn’t even get your name.

4 thoughts on “Watch out for shoulder-surfing at the checkout counter

    • Mandrake says:

      Sorry, dude – you’re too accustomed to FB, MSFT, GOOG. Unless you can find someone who says/can prove Apple receives or stores purchases or card numbers on their servers. Part of the sell Apple can push as an alternative to companies like Google who live off ad revenue.

      • eideard says:

        No need to be serious about folks collective cynicism, Mandrake. Though you’re right – and Apple certainly doesn’t need to sell data to hucksters – X’s joke is still a sign of the times we live in – in the Land of the Free.

        Run by someone other than Tim Cook who’s experienced what it means to be a target, Apple’s policies might be different.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.