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This Newspaper Seller Has Developed An Algorithm To Figure Out Credit Card Security Codes

A middle-aged newspaper salesman in Buenos Aires, Argentina, got arrested for “hacking” dozens of credit cards and using them to make small purchases.

All leads led to a 56-year-old newspaper salesman in the Buenos Aires town of Villa Madero. It appeared unlikely that one person, let alone one that operated a newspaper stand, could have managed it alone. Upon searching the man’s house, they found a small notebook containing a hand-written algorithm that had enabled him to figure out the CVC (Card Verification Code) of his victims.

Fernando Falsetti was a newspaper salesman. Investigators found that he had been able to figure out the CVC of cards issued by a certain Argentinian bank by analyzing the card number and expiration date.

The patterns that he was able to identify and write down in his notebook made investigators suspect that Falsetti was no ordinary newspaper salesman, and indeed, he wasn’t. According to Clarin, he is a trained computer engineer specializing in systems and telecommunications.

He used the credit cards to buy satellite television subscriptions from his own newspaper stand, so he could earn a commission from them. It was a relatively small sum that he thought most people wouldn’t notice or report.

However, while people didn’t seem to notice the sums deducted from their credit cards, hundreds of them did notify the satellite television company that they had never bought the subscription and wanted to cancel it. Suspecting some sort of fraud, the company filed a complaint.

Falsetti did not cover his tracks. He simply used the card data to make purchases from his newspaper stand and even kept all the invoices in his house. All police had to do was check the IP from where the purchases were made, and all the evidence was waiting for them.

Falsetti is free for now, but the investigation is ongoing, and he may have to do some jail time. Argentinian media reports that the scale of his fraud is around a million pesos ($8,260).

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