Thieves occasionally steal buyers’ credit card data while it is in transit from Point of Sale (POS) terminals to vendors’ data storage but vendors lack a reliable system to quickly detect such thefts. Until a theft is detected and the vendor and the credit card processor have determined the impacted accounts, notified those card holders, and have frozen or closed those accounts; the stolen data may be used to commit financial fraud and identity theft. Also, the longer the lapse before detection, the greater the likelihood of additional data thefts.
The invention is a device that mimics a vendor’s POS terminals and inserts fake transactions (using false credit card data provided by the credit card processors) into the data stream transmitted to the vendor’s data storage. [What’s the difference between ‘fake’ and ‘false’ in this context?] Consequently there is a very high probability of at least one fake transaction in each stolen data set and in turn a high probability that an attempt to commit fraud with that data will utilize at least one false credit card account. Attempts to use false accounts will trip alarms and time box the theft.
[Need a mechanism at the vendor – and possibly the credit card processors – to filter out the fake transactions.]
[Need the device at the vendor – and possibly the credit card processors – to transmit fake transactions back to the POS terminals?]