If you own a credit card, or more than one, then you need to be aware of the techniques used by scammers to get your card numbers. Even if you only have a debit card associated with your bank account, there are still going to be ways that dishonest people use to try and get access to your identity so they can make some purchases for which you will be held accountable. You can use Ivrnet for PCI compliance so that you will feel a little more secure, but you should still know about these five ways that thieves might try to steal your card information.
Skimming is one of the easiest ways for thieves to get your card info because all they have to do is install the device on an ATM and then come back to get it later. For anyone who used the ATM without paying attention, their credit card number and pin is now in someone else’s possession, and they will seldom lose any time in racking up charges in your name. Try only to use ATMs in your local bank branch, and if you do have to use one somewhere else, look it over carefully to make sure that there are no suspicious-looking devices attached to it.
Phishing schemes come in several different forms, but with each one, the intent is the same. The individual who sends you the email or text message tries to impersonate another entity and feed you whatever line they think you will fall for so that you will give up your card information, which they will then use or sell. They might impersonate the federal government, an African prince, or some damsel in distress in a foreign country. Don’t ever open emails or look at text messages from numbers or people that you don’t recognize.
There’s nothing simpler than old-fashioned theft, which might take place if you leave your purse unattended for a moment while you’re out in public, or it could involve smashing one of your car windows. Credit cards left in your home might be vulnerable too if you don’t have any security system in place. It’s unfortunate when this happens, but at least you should be aware of it quickly, and you contact the card company without delay.
Change of Address
This is a particularly clever one. A thief will submit a change of address form for your house, in the hopes that they will receive one of your credit card bills which will have all of your info on it. That’s why it’s best to get credit card bills sent to you by email.
This is when a thief will go through dumpsters or trash cans looking for any bills that might contain credit card information, which they can then use. You shouldn’t have these bills sent to you in paper form, but if you insist on it, at least shred them before you throw them away to prevent this from happening.
Most schemes can be avoided if you’re careful and use a little common sense. Try to think about security measures as you use your card, and you should be able to avoid the more conspicuous of these strategies.
Image credit: Max Pixel