I don't know if this is the same organization who stole D's Amex, but the m.o. sounds similar. In her case, she was buying herbs from the Merz Apothecary in the downtown Marshall Field's (n/k/a Macy's), handed her credit card to the clerk. The clerk said something to the effect of, “this register is down, let me check you out over there.” She finished her transaction, put her card back in her purse, but then later that evening thousands of dollars of purchases were made at a Wal-Mart, a Home Depot, and an Apple Store, all far away from where we ever go (west suburbs somewhere). Neither of us have ever purchased anything from Wal-Mart, so some algorithm was triggered on the American Express computers; they called us, and ended up waiving nearly $4,000 worth of merchandise.
Nothing further ever came of it, as far as we know.
FBI Busts Credit Card Cybergang An international law enforcement operation arrests 17 people who allegedly stole and circulated tens of thousands of credit card numbers, and used them to produce counterfeit plastic.
The Tribune focuses on the local angle, natch:
Suspects in credit card thefts appear in court
Eleven of the 12 suspects in a scheme to steal credit card numbers from guests of Joliet-area hotels appeared in court today.
On Thursday, about 50 officers, including FBI forensic computer experts, executed search warrants at seven hotels, all part of national chains, though their corporate parents were not implicated.
Police were also armed with 12 arrest warrants and executed 10. An eleventh suspect turned herself in Thursday night.
The arrests were part of Operation Sleep Over, an ongoing investigation that began four months ago when police arrested a man involved in the scam who then became an informant for the Will County Sheriff's Department, officials said.
Authorities say hotel owners, managers and employees were selling credit card numbers of guests in a scam they said could be going on across the country.
doh, I already wrote all this at the time it happened. My unaided recall was pretty good though, huh?