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How Credit Card Numbers Get Stolen

how credit card numbers are stolen

Credit card numbers are in high demand. Criminal enterprises seek to fill this demand by stealing the credit card numbers of people. Judging by the amount of credit card numbers available for sale on the black market, the criminals have been quite successful.  Some people might be wondering how the thieves got a hold of their credit card number. Most people are careful with their credit cards and do not let anyone touch their credit cards. Unfortunately, there are many ways for criminals to steal your credit card number.

Hacking websites can yield credit card numbers

Many companies store the credit card numbers of their customers. Criminals love this as it gives them the opportunity to steal a large number at once. There have been cases where thieves managed to obtain millions of credit card numbers at the same time.

Companies are aware of this and spend a lot of time and money trying to prevent this from happening. However, criminals are constantly scanning company servers for any weaknesses. If any mistakes are made by IT personnel, the criminals stand ready to take full advantage.

In general, your credit card number is safe with a company. Most companies, especially the larger ones, have never had any problems with credit card theft. However, when it does happen, the consequences are severe.

Harvesting credit card numbers through the Internet

The Internet can be used to harvest credit card numbers in a variety of ways. One way is to setup a bogus website, where people can enter their credit card to purchase something, make a donation or something else.

Fake emails are also used to find victims. The email message is made to look like it is from a legitimate source to trick people into entering their credit card number. There are many other ways the Internet can be used to gather credit card numbers.

Criminals hire store employees to copy your credit card

Criminals are always recruiting people with direct access to credit cards. The reason is that they are in a position to make a copy of your credit card info and pass it off to the criminals in return for a fee. These people can include employees in a restaurant, convenience store, gas station and so on.

For example, when it is time to pay the bill in a restaurant, an unsuspecting person may hand their credit card to a restaurant employee. The employee leaves and quickly copies your info. It only takes a swipe and a few seconds. Afterward, the employee returns your credit card as if nothing happened.

Call Centres are a source of credit card information

Call Centres are another source of stolen credit card numbers. These call centres are used to provide a range of services such as taking customer orders, providing technical support, answer public inquiries and much more.

There have been instances where foreign call centre operators have asked the caller for their credit card number with the excuse that it is needed to provide the service. Those people that comply have their credit card number stolen.

Going through rubbish bins can turn up all sorts of things

Some people dispose of their financial statements together with the rest of their rubbish. Criminals know this and will take the time to go through people’s rubbish to see if they can find anything useful. It is absolutely possible for thieves to retrieve your credit card number from a garbage bag.

It isn’t just credit card numbers, but all other types of information. Tax file numbers, date of birth, telephone numbers, addresses and so on are all of interest to criminals. The information can be used to assume your identity, which can cause you all sorts of problems.

Don’t lose track of your credit card

Some people avoid trouble with their credit card by simply not owning a credit card. However, that is not an option for most people. Credit cards have become a part of life and it is important that people do what they can to help keep their credit card number secure.

Credit cards do come with a robust set of security measures to protect against credit card fraud. However, you should always be wary of giving out your credit card to anyone. That also applies to any other sensitive information.

Always think twice before you do anything. Ask yourself if there is a legitimate reason to give out your credit card information. You can’t totally prevent problems from occurring, but it should help towards minimising it.

Category: Credit

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