Remember Giovanni Luciano, the high-living Italian playboy who scammed credit cards at Bungalow 8 and partied at the most exclusive places in Manhattan? He's been in jail since last year for grand larceny. Ever-enterprising New York Observer reporter Spencer Morgan wrote him a letter, then took the prison bus up to Coxsackie to meet with him. And that, friends, is where he learned about a devious money-stealing trick involving an Etch-a-Sketch.
“Say I swiped an A.T.M. card; how do I get his money out, he’s an asshole,” [Luciano] said. “There’s a toy. You can buy it at the toy store in Time Square. It’s called an Etch A Sketch.” Break open an Etch A Sketch, he said, and pour the black powder into a bowl. You have a credit-card-swiping machine, which is connected to a phone line, which connects to the bank. You take your finger and dip it into the black powder, and then run that finger across the magnetic strip on the back of the card. Now you swipe the card. The machine spits back 10 digits. The four digits in the middle, sandwiched in between three on each side, will be the pin number. Ideally, it will be around 11:50 p.m. Take the card to an A.T.M. at a bodega, not a bank—no cameras. Withdraw as much as you can, usually $800. Smoke a cigarette. Wait till the clock strikes midnight. It’s a new day! Withdraw another $800."