Did you lose your credit card? Have you noticed that your credit card bill includes purchases that you don’t remember making? How do thieves use stolen credit cards?
Modern corporations store a lot of information in their databases, including your credit card information. You might have heard of a number of high profile cases where credit card information was stolen from large companies. Unfortunately, it can also be stolen by store employees.
All it takes is an extra swipe of your card or a picture recording your PIN. You might have heard of the skimmers or scanners that can steal your credit card information from the air. Some put their credit cards in metal wallets as a pre-caution.
A retail employee making minimum wage might attach a skimmer to a gas pump. You swipe your credit card, the employee collects your data. The employee might collect information from a hundred credit cards and decide not to show up for work one day – the credit card thief is off to cash in that valuable credit card information.
Don’t Need Physical Card
Due to the Internet, cyber criminals don’t need your physical credit card. The simple thief will take your credit card information and go on a wild shopping spree. They will get the merchandise and you will get the bill.
That is why you must report a lost or stolen credit card immediately. Credit card issuing banks will write off the loss as a part of doing business.
Sell Identity Information
Criminals might try to open bank accounts or start fraudulent businesses, using your credit card. They could purchase domain names and create their own websites.
Hackers can steal your credit card information when you make online purchases. Some websites have inferior security features. Plus, most coffee shop WiFi is not secure; this is actually one of the weak links in Internet security: free WiFi.
There are rumors of a Dark Internet where criminals trade fraudulent information and engage in nefarious activities. They might sell your credit card information to others using these websites. You might have someone from another country using your financial information.
Many credit card companies will try to send you an email notification when your credit card is being used. You should pay close attention and notify the bank immediately if you did not authorize the purchase. The bank can decline the purchase.
So be pro-active and take pre-cautions. Many individuals will only buy from a trusted website. Also, keep close track of the details of your monthly credit card bill. And, if you lose your credit card, notify the bank immediately.
Jim Treebold is a North Carolina based writer. He lives by the mantra of “Learn 1 new thing each day”! Jim loves to write, read, pedal around on his electric bike and dream of big things. Drop him a line if you like his writing, he loves hearing from his readers!