Credit Card Fraud, What To Do

Hi everyone…can you believe my card was hacked?. You hear about these things happening, like your identity being stolen or your card being hacked but you never think it would happen to you. I have to admit though that as I was doing more business online via the blogging, setting up my Etsy shop Teaprint, and having to ensure my sites are well done and presentable I was registering for more platforms that had to help me do all the different aspects of a website, my mind ran on whether my card would get hacked.

Screenshot 2019-03-12 12.51.13

 

Link to Etsy Shop HERE!!

But I thought I was safe well it seems I wasn’t. The worst feeling in the world is when you use your credit card and it’s declined when you know it has money on it or at least supposed to, not only that, you know you haven’t reached your limit or gone on any shopping sprees, so whats going on? So I did some research because I realised that something was wrong so I checked my account only to see a set of transactions a that I definitely did not do, especially as I live in Trinidad and these were transactions that took place in California.

Someone bought food, and sneakers with my card. I definitely couldn’t order food from a restaurant in California while living in Trinidad. I immediately called the bank manager and he put me onto the officer who deals with these issues. They told me to complete forms for each transaction that I didn’t do and then send it in to them.

It will then take 2 and a half months to know the results based on their investigations. Still no surety that I would get it back. They stole $750USD, most of which belongs to my daughter, so I definitely want it back. It’s a shame I’m not a hacker so I could go online myself and find the thief and make them pay for what they’ve done. Cyber crime is just to difficult to solve, it makes you feel helpless and there is so much of it going on today.

These days thieves don’t wear masks and they don’t arrive on horseback totting guns; they do their dirty deeds from the comfort of their own home. Whether they steal your actual identity or they hack your credit card, all it takes is for one fraudulent charge to ruin your day.

credit card fraud

So let me share with you what I learned about Card breaches from the research I did:

Our credit card information can be stolen right under your nose without your credit card ever leaving your possession. Unfortunately, most victims of this type of credit card theft don’t find out their credit card details have been stolen until after the credit card has already been used. Often, fraudulent credit card charges are the first sign that credit card information has been stolen.

How Thieves Steal Credit Card Information

In many instances, thieves don’t steal your credit card information directly from you. Instead, they get it somewhere else in the credit card processing chain. Here are a few ways thieves can get access to your credit card information.

  1. Hacking into other businesses. Thieves can steal your information by breaching a company where you’ve used your credit card or a company that handles some aspect of credit card processing. Since data breaches target entire organizations, sometimes millions of consumers have their credit card information stolen. Most mega data breaches – like Target, Home Depot, JP Morgan Chase, and Anthem – make headline news
  1. Skimming. A credit card skimmer is a small device that captures your credit card information in another otherwise legitimate transaction. Thieves secretly place credit card skimmers over the credit card swipe at gas stations and ATMs then return to retrieve the information captured.

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​Sometimes a counterfeit credit card ring recruits cashiers, waitresses, or other workers to skim customer credit cards. You hand your credit card to the cashier for processing and when you’re not looking, the cashier will swipe your credit card through the skimming device.

  1. Installing malware or viruses on your computer,tablet or smartphone. Hackers can design software that’s downloaded in email attachments or other software and sits on your computer undetected. In one instance, hackers take advantage of public wi-fi to trick people into installing malware disguised as a software update. The software monitors your keystrokes or takes screenshots of your page and sends the activity to the thief.

4. Tricking you. Thieves set up traps to trick consumers into giving up credit card information. They do this by phone, by email, through fake websites, and sometimes even via text message. In one scam, for example, you verify some personal information in a call that you think is your credit card issuer’s fraud department. It’s important that you only give out your credit card and other personal information only in transactions you can be sure are safe.

5. Old-fashioned dumpster diving. Throwing away documents or receipts that have your full credit card number printed puts you at risk of theft. While dumpster diving doesn’t happen as often as in the past, it’s still important to be aware of the possibility. Always shred these documents before tossing them in the trash. Unfortunately, you can’t control how businesses dispose of their records. If they fail to shred records that contain credit card information, the information is at risk of being stolen.

What Do Thieves Do With Your Credit Card Information

  1. Use it to make online purchases. Thieves can use your credit card information to buy things over the internet.
  1. Sell it. Credit card information can be sold over the internet for $5 to $100 in the U.S., depending on the type and amount of information that’s sold.
  1. Create cloned credit cards. Thieves can make legitimate-looking credit cards by programming your credit card information on a gift cards or prepaid credit card. When the card is swiped, the transaction processes just like it would if you swiped your actual credit card.
credit card fraud2

How to Know If Your Credit Card Information Has Been Stolen

This kind of credit card theft can go undetected for several months. It’s not like a physical credit card that you notice is missing. You likely won’t know until you notice unauthorised charges on your credit card account.

Don’t count on your bank to catch instances of credit card theft. This is so true as I was the one who noticed due to my card being declined. I don’t think the bank would have noticed anything, at least it depends on the bank. Some banks call you to double check any transaction they feel looks suspicious as per your spending trend. Your credit card issuer may call you or freeze your account if they notice purchases outside your normal spending habits, but don’t take for granted that your bank will always notify you of potential fraud.

What to Do If Your Credit Card Info is Stolen

  • Monitor your credit card often and
  • Immediately report fraudulent purchases, regardless of the amount.
  • Read through your transactions once a month when your credit card statement comes.
  • Once a week is better and daily or every other day will let you spot fraudulent purchases before the thief can do too much damage to your account.
  • Some credit cards can send real-time transaction notifications to your smartphone.

Sometimes thieves test to see which credit card numbers are valid by making a small charge of a few dollars or pennies that would likely go undetected. If the small charge is successful, the thief knows the credit card number work and will go on to make bigger purchases with the credit card information.

  • Don’t ignore small, seemingly innocent credit card purchases. Even something as small as a few cents could be a sign that your credit card information has been compromised.
  • Pay attention to news regarding hacks and data breaches. News reports will often include the name of the store affected and the date or date range the data beach occurred. If you shopped during that time period, there’s a chance your credit card information was stolen.

Do You Pay for Fraudulent Purchases?

Legally, you are not responsible for any unauthorized purchases made with your stolen credit card information – as long as your credit card is still in your possession. (With debit cards, you must report unauthorized transactions within 60 days of your bank statement being sent to you.)

You must report the transactions to your credit card issuer so they can investigate and remove them from your account.

Keeping Your Credit Card Information Safe

If you use your credit card at all, anywhere, your information is at risk.

There is a number of things you can do to keep your credit card information safe.

  • Use strong passwords,
  • Be cautious about where you use your credit card,
  • Always use secure websites, and
  • Avoiding storing your credit card details in your web browser.

Protecting Accounts That Use Your Credit Card

It’s not just your credit cards that are at risk. Other accounts that use your credit card are at risk, too.

  • PayPal,
  • Netflix,
  • HBO GO,
  • ITunes, and other accounts.

Unfortunately, it’s tough to circumvent theft with these services, considering many require you to store your credit card information to even sign up for an account.

As mobile payments becomes mainstream, you can expect digital pick pocketing to increase. There’s already an Android app that allows thieves to wirelessly steal mobile payment information just by standing near a person who has credit card information stored on their phone.

What to Do If Your Card Data Is Breached

  1. Cancel Your Card

Call your bank or card issuer and request a new credit or debit card. If a debit card was involved, you’ll also want to change the PIN on the account. Some banks and issuers automatically shut down your card and send a new one when they know it’s been compromised.

  1. Check Your Accounts

You’ll also want to check bank and credit card statements for suspicious activity or purchases, as well as going online to check recent activity.

If your card is used before you’re aware of the data breach and its used by a thief, you’ll need to make sure you dispute the charges with your bank or card issuer immediately.

This process can be a bit lengthier with a debit card, but you’ll want to flag any potential debit

  1. Change Passwords

Your next step is to change your passwords     on those accounts, as well as the password to any account that’s been breached. If you re-use some form of those passwords on other accounts, it’s a good idea to change those, too.

Other Options After a Data Breach

Assuming you’ve reported any unauthorized transaction immediately to the credit card or debit card issuer and since a card can easily be canceled, you may not need to take additional action other than keeping an eye on your card statements and credit reports.

What do you do?

  • Yes, it’s serious, but don’t panic.
  • Call your bank and the credit reporting companies.
  • Send written notification to your creditors.
  • Monitor your statements and correspondences.

References:

  1. How Your Credit Card Information is Stolen and What to Do About It by Latoya Irby
  2. 4 things to do after your credit card has been hacked by Pamela Britton- Baer
  3. 3 things to do if your credit card or debit card is involved in a data breach by Brian O’connor
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