Credit Card Thieves Go High Tech

Debit or credit card is used today when you wanted to purchase an item. You can just swipe it across a card reader and you’re good to go. If you were shopping in the 80s and early 90s, you may remember the days where your card was imprinted on a carbon copy. Nowadays, with the popular use of the chip-embedded credit cards, you simply insert your card into a machine that reads all of your credit card’s information. Some people suggest never swiping your card unless you absolutely have to. Magnetic strips are easy to hack. With every swipe, you run the risk of a credit card thieves stealing your credit card details. The chip’s function is to encrypt all of the data stored on your card, rendering hacking attempts useless (for now).

Don’t give personal information to somebody over the phone.

Unfortunately, effective criminals are clever and find other ways to beat security. Now that outright stealing credit card information is difficult, many criminals are resorting to phishing scams to steal people’s money and credit card details. You may get a phone call from a person claiming to be a representative of your bank or credit card company, and they will tell you that they want to upgrade your card but need some of your personal information. Remember, no bank will ask you for sensitive information over the phone. They already have that information in their system.

Beware of unsolicited emails.

Often times hackers will send emails pretending to be your financial institution. They will tell you that you need to update your information, that you have been approved for a card, or that you have won something. Never give anybody you don’t know sensitive information. Criminals are very clever and can design email names very similar to your bank’s official email address.

Don’t click links that you don’t know.

You may get an email from somebody claiming to work for your bank. If you are not 100% sure that this email came from your financial institution, don’t click it. Many times these websites will force you to download Trojan horse viruses that record your computer activity. The next time you log into your online banking, or purchase something online, all of that information will be sent to a hacker, who can use it to steal your identity and make purchases on the internet.

Credit Card Fraud

If you are unsure, call.

There may be times when you get an official email from your bank asking you if you want to be upgraded or approved for a credit card. Sometimes they will ask information, like the last for digits of your social number, to verify your identity. If you are unsure then hang up and call your bank’s official hotline. Explain the situation to them and ask if it is official. They will be more than happy to help you, and if it was your bank that called you can be transferred to someone who can take care of you.

Credit card theft has come a long way over the past ten years. Rarely will someone physically take your credit card and make purchases with it. With the popularity of online purchasing, everything can be done via the internet. Keep yourself safe by protecting your information. Furthermore, if you are at a bar or restaurant, be wary of letting the server walk off with your credit card. Consider walking with him or her so that you can see if they are sticking your card into the store’s credit card reader, or a machine designed to extract your information. This practice is particularly common in high tourist areas, like New York, San Francisco, or New Orleans.

By being cautious, you greatly reduce the chances of falling victim to identity theft or having your credit card information stolen. If you do notice unusual activity on your bank account or credit card, call your financial institution immediately. There should be a 24-hour hotline dedicated to lost or stolen credit cards.

Contact Team Green Lawyers now for advice on how to better protect yourself.