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back to article Chicago cabs embroiled in debit-card breach claim mystery as bank tells folks: Pay by cash

Illinois' First American Bank is advising folks in Chicago to pay their taxi fares in cash rather than by card – amid allegations of a computer security breach in the payment processing chain used by cabbies. It is not clear exactly where or how debit or credit card details are allegedly being copied and siphoned off to crooks. …

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Stop

Well, it's true that a cab would be a horrible environment for secure POS...

Lots of well-off businesspeople swiping credit and debit cards, lots of partiers doing the same, and any crook can get into the back of the cab, and can probably fiddle with the POS terminal under the guise of "Just a sec. I'm having trouble getting this thing to take my card."

Plus cab companies are well-known for being pretty cheap, and that includes IT security.

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Use cash in the US?

What's this "cash" you speak of, never heard of it!

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Re: Use cash in the US?

It's the same stuff that we use to pay off the politicians.

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Joke

Under investigation?

So will that continue until they find a way of saying it is not their fault?

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Re: Under investigation?

It's Bank of America. Nothing is ever their fault. According to them, anyway.

On a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is good and 1 is evil, BoA is -100. (Yes, they're worse than HSBC, difficult though that may be to imagine.)

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Linux

iphone/android terminal?

Recently in my wanderings around the USA I have taken cabs where they produce an Iphone or Android phone with the dongle to slide the card through. You receive a text message immediately that you have been charged X by cabbie Y.

P.

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Re: iphone/android terminal?

With so many potential points of failure, the Illinois' First American Bank's advice is correct: pay cash.

Yeah, I know that's going to be difficult for most people my age and younger to do, but it is the safest way.

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From my experience 2-3 years ago, you do not want to pay by card in a Chicago cab anyway. They are all required by law to offer pay by card, but when I gave my cabbie my card at the end of an hour long trip from Loop to O'Hare, he looked at me as though I'd given him a turd in a bag.

He then threw my luggage out of the boot, before rummaging around to find a manual imprinter - yeah, I thought those things were extinct too. We then spent an enjoyable 5 minutes trying to find carbon paper that wasn't already marked through on to the copies, and 3 or 4 attempts before he got one that had my credit card details properly printed on to the copies.

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Someone really cynical would say this was engineered by the Taxi Union to get more people using cash, because the drivers get better tips from cash customers. But the real conspiracy is probably just companies being too cheap to have proper IT, and no regulatory agency caring enough to audit properly.

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