The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday said no data breach was involved in the nation’s first known instance of credit card fraud involving Apple Pay since the service was introduced in the local market in March.
While Cathay United Bank Co (國泰世華銀行) and Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank (台北富邦銀行) had said that their customers had reported credit card fraud, the lenders’ systems, as well as those of the US tech giant, remained secure, the commission said.
Huang Chao-kang (黃照岡), using the alias “Huang Chi” (黃琪), befriended bank customers in online chat rooms and convinced them to divulge personal information, the commission said.
Huang allegedly used the information to gain access to bank accounts, altering settings so that their credit cards were linked to his smartphone and mobile phone number, the commission said, adding that Huang had made about 30 purchases totaling NT$70,000 (US$2,314).
As Huang had used personal information supplied by the customers, he could get past verification checks to take advantage of Apple Pay, which does not require signature verification with each purchase.
Both banks issued statements saying that they have fixed changes made to the customers’ accounts.
Local media reported that Huang is a habitual fraudster who is adept at pretending to be a member of a prominent family or claiming ties to celebrities to gain trust.
Huang’s targets include former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) in 2008.
Huang was arrested on Thursday evening at his home in New Taipei City and has been charged with fraud and forgery.
The Criminal Investigation Bureau said its probe has revealed that several other local banks were also targeted, but were reluctant to make reports out of fear that Apple would revoke their rights to operate Apple Pay and that their reputation would be tarnished.
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