Rolling Out

Starbucks cashier’s thievery shows danger of identity theft in viral YouTube video

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A recent visit to a Starbucks resulted in an unsettling case of identity fraud for one woman in California. Juana Martinez made a purchase at the Lakewood location of Starbucks and within a few days she discovered that the credit card she used was charged $212 at a local department store. Police surveillance video showed the Starbucks worker at the store completing a transaction with Martinez’s credit card numbers. The enraged Martinez then decided to pay a visit back to Starbucks and confronted the 19-year-old cashier. The encounter resulted in a YouTube video that has gone viral and highlighted the growing dangers of identity theft. The cashier admits her crime and then pleads “I’m a good kid” as the look on her face reveals the utter horror of being caught redhanded.

With upgrades in technology, it is now easier than ever for a person to steal your credit card information. A cashier can now use a small device (skimmer) attached to a smartphone to swipe your card and store your information. It just takes a few seconds for this to happen and the cashier commits this crime while your card is in their possession. In the case of Martinez, the cashier uses the excuse that her register had run out of receipt paper and disappears for about a minute while she copied the information. A Starbucks corporate spokesperson has confirmed that the cashier no longer works for the company.

To protect yourself from identity theft, here are a few tips:

  • Always keep your receipts after a purchase- A receipt often has the name of the store, cashier and time of transaction.
  • Check your transactions and balances on a regular basis
  • Do not store your credit card information for purchases on websites. Although it may be convenient, hackers can steal this information and make your life a financial nightmare.
  • Order a new credit card or ATM card every year. This will stop persons who might have stored your information months ago from using it to purchase items when you least expect it.
  • Always get fraud protection for your credit card. Many banks automatically offer this service but some charge a small fee. Paying a little now will save you trouble in the long run.
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