Investigators learn the technology behind fraud operations

Investigators were shocked at how easy it is for identity thieves to duplicate credit cards

With the swipe of a credit card an identity thief had your information.

With the swipe of another, they can duplicate that card.

The investigators saw a demonstration of how easy it is for identity thieves to buy a skimmer online or in a store, collect card information and distribute it as they please.

"I was shocked to find out how easy it is for someone to steal someone else's identity," says Chief James Brackin with the Darton College Police Department. "It makes you aware of the current practices that criminals are going through."

Local law enforcement agencies from as far as Atlanta came to Albany for LifeLock's identity theft seminar and demonstration, soaking in information that they say could help with future investigations.

"The technology that's involved in identity theft is constantly changing so it helps us to know what's the latest, what the latest devices are out there and what the latest techniques are," says Deputy Chief Mark Scott with the Albany Police Department.

Paige Hanson, Manager of Educational Programs with LifeLock, says the demonstrations help investigators to know exactly what they are looking at when they come across a skimmer or a sheet with credit card data.

"Even if they have seen it, you go to think 'What is someone going to do with 100 credit card numbers?' Well it could be a very lucrative business for an identity thief," says Hanson. "There's tens of thousands of black market websites out there, chat rooms, just pulling you in to try to buy this information containing credit card numbers, expirations dates, names, sometimes addresses."

While investigators come across cases like this on a regular basis, they say they were still shocked at the information skimmers pick up and how easily the information â" like names â" can be altered. During the seminar and even during the breaks, some investigators collaborated on ideas of what could be done to stop not only the small productions but also the bigger operations.

"It is nice to hear the communication and the fact that they're working together. It should make the community feel better and safer," says Hanson.