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Online shopping is the second-most common fraud category reported by credit card users, elevated by a surge of discloses in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic. Online services (i.e., prizes, sweepstakes, and lotteries) and telecommunications (i.e., telephone and mobile services) rounded out in the top credit card scam categories.

In the newly released report by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), above 2.1 million fraudulent records were witnessed of people’s credit card information being misused.

With this most frustrating crime that you can’t see, knowing how this crime starts and how credit cards can be protected is important.

Here’s the rub!

How Do Cybercriminals Steal Credit Card Info? 

With the advancement in technology, hackers and cybercriminals are boosting their skills set too. They can steal credit and debit card information in various ways, using both online and offline methods. There is no boundary to them. However, to protect credit cards from them at some level, knowing frequent data-stealing methods is vital. 

Lost Or Stolen Cards: A person physically steals your credit card and makes purchases using it.

Phishing: A hacker uses an email, a text message, or a phone call to impersonate a legitimate person to get you to hand over sensitive credentials.

Counterfeit: Credit Cards or other accounts opened using stolen information from actual users. 

Credit Card Skimming: A device that runs with credit card information from card readers such as ATMs. Since retailers have been moved on from magnetic strip to secure chip chards, to date, this practice of stealing credentials is very unusual. 

Public Wi-Fi Networks: A shared internet access means no data privacy. Even if you’re using your own device, you could be vulnerable to fraudsters if you reveal your confidential information while being active on a public network.

Malware And Spyware: A type of malicious software that collects your data by running in the device background. It silently records the browser’s history and keystrokes for cybercriminals, allowing them to impersonate you or sell your personal information.

Data Breaches: When an organization you’ve entrusted with your confidential information is hacked, your credit card info is vulnerable to hackers – collecting and using it.

Confidential Fraud: It occurs when your trusted person knows your credentials and is using your card. Or just opened an account using your name without authorization, says Kimberly Sutherland, vice president of fraud and identity strategy at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. 

This is one of the more brutal forms of deception to contend with, as it involves a person you know stealing your identity. However, it is still possible to clear your name and not be held liable for charges you didn’t make.

8 Tips To Prevent Credit Card Breaches

When securing your credit card information and identity, there are plenty of preventive tips that you can take right away. 

1. Use RFID Wallets

RFID Wallets provide the best protection against RFID skimming; their blocking technology secures credit cards from any risk level. In addition, using electromagnetic enclosure technology called a Faraday cage, this technology makes credit cards electromagnetically opaque by distributing electrostatic charges or radiation around the cage’s exterior, thus protecting its contents from electric indictments.

2. Only Use Secure Websites

It’s pivotal to avoid entering your credit card credentials on unsecured websites, as per the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). They mentioned the credit card’s security as, sometimes, a tiny icon of a padlock appears to symbolize a higher level of protection for data transmission. Though this icon doesn’t assure a secure site, it provides some chance to be secured.

3. Avoid Using Account Number Over Phones

In its protective guide, the FTC warned that you should proceed with your transactions cautiously with anyone who wants you to enter your credit card number over his device or phone. This is especially true if someone called you to initiate the transactions using your credentials. 

4. Install Anti-Virus Software

There is a reason why your credit card details got stolen – the lack of security sometimes lures hackers to steal your hard-earned money. Having protective software on all your linked devices significantly decreases the chances of becoming a victim. In addition, it will help you remove your digital footprints.

5. Check Your Credit Card After Every Transaction

Keeping a close eye on accounts can be the best way to protect against credit card frauds. You should check your transactions thoroughly at least once a month to ensure each charge on your credit card is done by you. If you find any suspicious order or purchase on your account, inform your credit card issuer right away.

6. Be Mindful Of In-Person Credit Card Transactions

While using a credit card in any restaurant or retail store, try to avoid situations where the employee processes your card walks away from you, and takes your card out of your view. If they take your card into another area away from you, chances are there they might copy your card number, expiration date, and security code.

7. Never Sign Blank Credit Card Receipts

Always verify your amount on the credit card receipt before signing it. For example, if you get a credit card receipt with blank spaces in it, write down $0 in those empty spaces or draw through them before putting your signature. Otherwise, the risks that the cashier could write in an amount and send the purchase to your credit card issuer are high.

8. Shred Anything Having Your Credit Card Number

Don’t toss your credit card billing receipts immediately into the trash; they typically have your complete credit card number printed on them. Instead, tear them up to keep dumpster divers from getting their hands on your credit card info. The same advice applies to old credit cards that have expired or been bounced.

You can protect your card by taking a step further, put the shredded pieces in different trash bags for the extra keen thieves who might put shredded pages back synchronically.

Conclusion 

There have been millions of credit cards stolen in a similar timeframe and likely billions of financial crimes. To help people save their companies and themselves, these protective steps are mandatory to accomplish. 

Protective measures can lessen or eradicate the chances of becoming a victim and save people’s hard-earned money. 

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Posted by Charlie