Credit card fraud

Updated: 11/12/2023 by Computer Hope
Credit cards

Credit card fraud is someone illegally using another person's credit card to make purchases without permission. Because a credit card number can be used online without identification or proof of ownership, credit card fraud is one of the top computer crimes on the Internet.

How does someone get a credit card number?

Below are the various ways someone like a hacker might obtain another person's credit card.

  • Card skimmer - A credit card skimmer is a facade or physical device attached to a credit card reader that records all credit cards swiped on a machine.
  • Phishing - Setting up a website that appears to be another company (e.g., eBay) is a way to get other users to enter their login and other personal details.
  • Stolen wallet - If your wallet is borrowed, stolen, or lost, someone can use your credit card when it's not in your possession.
  • Dumpster diving - Going through a person's trash can find personal information, including account numbers, names, addresses, and transactions.
  • Scam - A scammer can use social engineering to trick many users into giving them their credit card number over a phone call or chat.
  • Malware - If your computer is infected with malware, it could be used to record keystrokes or data entered into the computer, including credit card information.
  • Public Wi-Fi - Entering sensitive information such as credit card information when connected to a public Wi-Fi is a security risk since others can collect information on that network.
  • Photograph - When you hand over your credit card to someone, they can photograph it so that its numbers can be used later.
  • Data breach - If your information was compromised in a data breach, it may have contained credit card related information or information that could be used to obtain credit card information.
  • Shoulder surfing - If you enter your credit card number in an area with other people, someone can watch or record you entering your credit card information.

How can I protect my credit card number?

Below are suggestions on helping to prevent your credit card number from getting stolen.

  • Be aware of all the ways mentioned above on how someone might get a credit card number.
  • Enable credit card purchase notifications. These notifications send you a text message anytime a purchase is made on your card. If a fraudulent charge is noticed, it can be immediately addressed before other charges can be made.
  • Recording and duplicating the credit card magnetic strip is easier than duplicating a credit card chip. So, when using your card, always use the chip, RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification), or NFC (Near-Field Communication) instead of swiping the card.

Business terms, Card, Computer crime, CVC, Digital wallet, Identity theft, Security terms