Saturday, April 11, 2009

Slot PIN Casino Cheat Scams To Be Aware Of

A slot hustler will walk up and down the slot isles looking for the “white flash” up near the slot rating card bonus panel. This white flash indicates that the patron is looking up their bonus status and using their PIN number. The hustler will take note of the PIN number and wait to see if they can figure out a way to steal the player’s card. One common scam to pick up a date of birth from a high end slot player hoping they are using the DOB is to run the name in the many available online resources in the private, local and federal level. Credit agencies may also be a source of obtaining this type of information. It is suggested to players to not use their date of birth but we all know that players want an easily remember PIN. Many casinos actually use DOB’s as the initial processing generated PIN and hope the players change them later. Some players simply leave the account open and pull out their loyalty card. The downloads and comps are still open for the scammer to take advantage of the unknowing victim. Here is an excellent scam that was detected here in Atlantic City. Our scammer has an ID program on his computer up in the hotel. He circulates the floor using any means to obtain names and PINs on slot players. From that point he goes back up to the room and makes a fake diver’s license of the player. He proceeds to go back down to the floor and use the fake identification and his illegally obtained personal information to draw comps all over the casino. This same scam can have the suspect going back to the loyalty rewards center and having new cards and PIN’s made as well. It is a potential deadly scam to any casino from a marketing standpoint.

Did you know that slot manufacturer’s install software that picks up on the most common PIN numbers and does not allow it to be assigned to the accounts of players. Some of the most common PIN numbers are consecutive numbers such as 1111, 7777, 9876 or 1234. You must always be aware of people who know your personal information such as address numbers, date of birth, social security number or a personal favorite lucky number. It is this type of information that will be utilized to attempt to access your comps and downloadable credits.

Here is one final precautionary measure that slot manufacturers afford casinos to protect your comps: If you attempt and fail on three tries to enter your PIN number it will disable the card access to the bonus comp and point area.

Let’s look at the future of PIN scams and consider the following possibility. What if a scammer used a hand-held skimmer device to swipe in a player’s rating card. Is it possible that the information contained on the magnetic strip includes the PIN number and all personal information from the account? How easy is it to tap the credits and comps from the machine? Casinos use protective measures that help to control personal identification numbers but that is not always enough. You can’t assume without testing the possibility that somehow, someway this information can be cloned to duplicate cards.

The Washington Post wrote an article about prostitutes and drug addicts using this type of device to swipe Las Vegas casino high roller’s room keys allowing access to the credit card information posted to the room for any incidentals. Is it only a matter of time before IT or rewards program employees utilize scams with information contained within the magnetic strips of slot ratings cards to commit theft against their casinos.

Continued industry communication and networking will help to keep up with current slot scams of this nature.