Japanese Thief Uses ‘Photographic Memory’ to Steal the Credit Card Info of 1,300 Customers

The thief simply stored the card information in his head and wrote it down later in his notebooks.

Japanese Thief Uses ‘Photographic Memory’ to Steal the Credit Card Info of 1,300 Customers

It has probably come across your mind a couple of times while paying with your credit card at a restaurant, grocery store, or even at a retail store. Will this person steal my card number? Of course, there are certain checks and balances put into place to keep your card information safe, but nothing is completely guaranteed. 


A recent story from Japan might have you protecting your card information even closer from now on. 

A photographic crime

A Tokyo cashier has been arrested on allegations of stealing the credit card information from well over 1,300 customers. Now, this type of theft is not completely new, however, the way the thief stole the information is what has garnered international attention. 

No complex technology needed. The thief used his mind. The thief was caught this past Thursday after he tried to buy 270,000 Japanese yenworth of bags from online shopping sites last March. 

Now you are probably still wondering how the thief went about stealing the money. The thief allegedly has a photographic memory and was simply able to memorize the card numbers of customers upon seeing them. 

When investigators went to search the thief’s home, they found a notebook of all the numbers that he stole. It is believed that customers would come to the Koto Mall where the thief worked. While customers would purchase various items, the thief would look at the cards and then go home and record the numbers in this notebook to make online purchases. 

What is a photographic memory

Now you have probably seen a few films about people who have a photographic memory, people who can remember anything on command. Having a photographic memory is not really a thing. Based on mounting evidence, it is actually impossible to recall images with near-perfect accuracy.

The more appropriate phrase to be used is eidetic imagery, but even in this case people with great memories or Herculean memories still memorize things with inaccuracies. Some people are born with the ability to memorize things better than others and the Japanese thief seemed to have this gift.

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