Credit card fraud is a very common crime that affects millions of people each year. This crime involves the unauthorized use of a person’s credit card information for the purpose of loading purchases into the victim’s account or withdrawing funds from their account. Credit card fraud is considered a form of identity theft . Due to the popularity of online shopping and Internet fraud, criminals no longer need a physical credit card to use it to make purchases or extractions.
It is important to note that this is something that can happen to anyone: all people are potential targets for credit card fraud, regardless of their age or financial status, just have a card.
What is it about?
Fraudulent appropriations imply that the thief or hacker seizes an existing account and, in principle, can make several purchases by posing as the owner of the card. In the worst cases, with enough personal information about the owner, the criminal can contact the bank or the credit card company and request that the billing address be changed. Then, report the loss or theft of the credit card and request that another card be sent to the new address. In this way, the criminal can make more fraudulent purchases with the card.
Another method of fraudulent account appropriation is the duplication of credit cards. Employees who have access to customer credit cards take note of the information on the card and use it fraudulently. That is why it is always convenient to use the credit card in businesses and premises that inspire confidence.
About the new chip cards
About a year ago, credit cards with chip technology were introduced in the United States . Although they were already being used in other countries of the world, they were not yet used here. Today, all new credit cards issued in the United States include this technology.
It was assumed that with the inclusion of this attribute, it would be more difficult for thieves to steal information. The traditional magnetic stripe, already well known by criminals, is easy to clone and is used to create fake cards. Thieves usually obtain data from a card by hacking data or using false slots that are placed on top of the real ones at ATMs and gas stations. By swiping your card in an altered machine, you can unwittingly deliver your information. Theoretically, with the chip it would be more difficult to steal information, but this point generates some controversies; There are experts who say that since the technology of the chip was implemented, it is even easier to steal the data from the credit cards.
End of Year party’s
The period from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve is particularly sensitive for identity theft, and more specifically for the theft or falsification of credit card data.
As we all know, here in the United States, purchases take up a large part of the activities related to Thanksgiving , Black Friday , Christmas and the New Year. Crowds come to shopping centers across the country to take advantage of offers and discounts, to buy gifts and household items, from clothing and furniture, to appliances and cars. This means that the flow of electronic data and money is immense, which translates into a great opportunity for pirates. Both banks and credit cards are usually outgrown and as a result it is more difficult to control scams.
How to know and what to do if my credit card information has been stolen?
There are, basically, two possibilities. In general, when our credit card information is stolen, and the financial institution suspects a strange movement, an agent of the bank or the credit card company communicates with us and asks us to confirm that it has been us who made this or that purchase. If we say that we have not been us, the financial institution will send us, in the course of the following week, a new credit card. In the meantime, our current card will be canceled.
The other alternative is when we ourselves feel that there are consumptions that appear in our summary that reflect purchases that we have not made. In this case, it is advisable to contact our financial institution as soon as possible and explain what is happening. Probably, the outcome will be the same; that card will be canceled and the bank will send us another few days later.
It is very rare, in either of these two cases that we mentioned, that the bank or the credit card company wants to make us pay what the thieves bought. There are insurances that banks have, which deal with these issues.
In short, it is good to prevent yourself; buy in places of trust, be careful with the online sites where we enter the numbers of our card, send messages and emails with the data of our plastic, etc. In case of being intercepted by the pirates, credit card fraud usually represents an inconvenience for us as customers, who will mainly lose time, and a real headache for financial institutions, which will most likely lose money.