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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 168883 Find in a Library
Title: Vacuum Metal Deposition of Silver as an Aid in Credit Card Examinations
Journal: Journal of Forensic Identification  Volume:47  Issue:1  Dated:(January/February 1997)  Pages:57-63
Author(s): R N Morris; C L Gilmour; P L Laturnus; A B Yamashita
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 7
Type: Report (Technical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Because the examination of credit cards for unique embossing characteristics or signs of previous embossing is often difficult due to interference from the colored background and printed letters on the card, the use of a vacuum metal deposition apparatus to apply a thin coating of silver to the card surface can make it easier to identify credit card forgery.
Abstract: Credit card forgery is costly to both companies and consumers as criminals devise new methods. One form of credit card forgery involves the use of am embossing machine to put a legitimate credit card number, obtained illegally, on a credit card blank. Another use of the embossing machine is to put new numbers and letters on a stolen card. Characteristics of the stolen card can be erased with heat, and flattened portions can be re-embossed with different numbers and letters. An experiment was conducted to examine the usefulness of depositing a thin metal film on the credit card to make examination of the credit card easier. Several credit cards were coated in a vacuum metal deposition chamber with a thin film of silver. Credit cards that might contain unique embossing characteristics or that had been re-embossed were placed in plastic sleeves that left only embossed areas exposed. They were then examined using controlled incident lighting with a stereo microscope, and areas of interest were photographed. Results demonstrated coating credit cards with a thin metal eliminated the interference from background printing and made examination easier. 5 references and 4 photographs
Main Term(s): Science and Technology
Index Term(s): Credit card fraud; Criminal investigation; Criminalistics; Evidence identification; Forensic sciences
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