Bad Guys Beware… U.S. Secret Service and XTec Join Forces to Combat Identity Theft

MIAMI, Florida, April 24, 2000 - According to one Congressional estimate, over 2,000 Americans a week fall victim to identity theft, resulting in approximately $2 billion in losses per year. One weapon used by criminals to perpetrate credit card fraud, a rapidly growing form of identity theft, involves the use of "skimmers" - tiny, high capacity, hand held devices that read and store the data on the magnetic stripe of a credit card, ATM card, or ID card. One the most popular schemes involve giving skimmers to waiters, barmaids, and others servers. When a patron willingly hands over their credit card for processing, the server swipes the card through the skimmer before, or after, they process the legitimate payment transaction. Unbeknown to the patron, the skimmer captures the critical data needed to reproduce their card later, and the cardholder walks away feeling safe since their original card is back in their wallet. The skimmers are collected from the servers at the end of the day, and the data contained in skimmer is used to create a copy of the original card - you can guess the rest. The duplicate cards are used to illegally purchase gas, goods, and services, while the original card is still in the possession of its rightful owner.

While law enforcement organizations at the local and national level have been increasingly successful at apprehending the perpetrators, the growing challenge has been the forensic process needed to effectively analyze the skimmer devices. This problem has been solved by the joint efforts of the U.S. Secret Service and XTec Incorporated. With cooperation from members of the Service's Financial Crimes Division, XTec developed and delivered specialized forensic devices that make it possible for the Service to gather, analyze, and track the data contained in the skimmer devices. The XTec forensic devices are equipped with a law enforcement version of XTec's Mediametric© technology. "The development of these devices now allow us to carry out a battery of analyses in the field that in the past could only be performed in a lab environment thereby enabling law enforcement to be proactive in the suppression of this crime", said Gregory Regan, Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service, Financial Crimes Division.

"The role of these forensic devices goes beyond their value in the field, they provide law enforcement with a unique opportunity to create an extensive database containing the unique characteristics of the captured devices, their stored data, and their origin" added Albert Fernandez, President and CEO of XTec.

"This is a great example of how government and the private sector can work together to protect the privacy and identity of consumers," commented Bill Harris, President and CEO of, and a member of XTec's Board of Director, "XTec plans to continue to work with the Service to develop ways to combat the growing problem of identity theft, as well as other privacy and security issues related to electronic commerce," he added.

XTec, Incorporated is an independent developer, producer, and licensor of security solutions for electronic commerce, domain and key management, transaction and data processing, access control, communications, and information systems. XTec was founded in 1990, and is headquartered in Miami, Florida. The Company's products, services, and operating systems are based on its proprietary Mediametric technology. Mediametrics is a revolutionary technology founded on the premise that it will always be possible to measure a physical quantity more precisely than it can be duplicated-the Magnetic Fingerprint. XTec's technology enables others to securely process, store, and manage their proprietary information. XTec's patents, engineers, and development teams are highly respected by the cryptographic community. The Company is well versed in the integration of their Mediametric technology to a vast array of electronic commerce, communications, and access control applications.