2007_04_CCF.jpgThe Manhattan DA's office announced that thirteen people were indicted in a identity theft scam. Credit card information from diners in Chinatown and other areas (Brooklyn, Westchester, Long Island, Florida, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Connecticut) would be stolen by wait staff, using handheld credit card skimmers. A list of restaurants where the scam took place was not released.

One defendant, JD Kenny, would pay $35-50 per skimmed card information, and then use that information to create fake cards. Then, another group of people were enlisted to use the fake cards and buy "high-end electronics merchandise – such as laptop computers, Sony Play Stations, GPS navigation systems, high-end digital cameras and IPods." The DA's office says each "shopper" was expected to make $1,000 of purchases per card; another defendant, Li-Chieh Pao, would pay the shopper 15% of the items' retail values and then sold the goods to stores in Queens.

This is not the first time restaurant workers have been known to skim credit card information - this happened at Tenement in 2005 and at Les Halles last year. Check your credit card statements carefully, and here's information on identity theft from the NYPD and Department of Consumer Affairs.