How Do Thieves Steal Credit Card Information?

by JRO on July 23, 2013

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Before modern technology, credit card often occurred as a result of thieves stealing purses, wallets, or searching through dumpsters in search of carbon copies of credit card imprints in order to gain financial data. However, due to the advancements in technology, thieves can now use a variety of ways to steal credit card information. Below are the most common ways that modern-day thieves can steal personal credit card information.

Supermarkets and Restaurants

Cashiers and servers can steal credit card information with the help of pocket-size skimmers. Hackers can also break into the computer systems of a supermarket or restaurant and gain access to the credit card information of its customers. You can remain alert at the restaurant or the supermarket when your card is being swiped, or you can use cash to pay the check and avoid theft of your credit card information.

ATMs

Skimmers that can capture and read the data present in the magnetic strip of credit cards are installed by thieves in ATMs. They even set up tiny cameras at such ATMs to gather your pin number. You must check for any signs of tampering whenever you use ATMs and also avoid using your credit card at ATMs that look suspicious. The ATMs at gas stations are especially vulnerable to such illegal setups as they are heavily trafficked locations.

Online Transactions

It is a very unsafe practice to put in your credit card details at websites that are not secure. It is easy for thieves to hack into the servers of unsecured websites and get the credit card numbers of its customers. Ensure that you always use secure websites whenever you make online payments so as to protect your information. Secure websites have verified secured connections and the latest SSL certificates, which is the lock icon present on the payment page. Also, take extra care when sharing personal or credit card information through email.

Travels

Travelers should be extra careful and take all necessary steps to protect their credit cards. Travelers are an easy target for data thieves. They can steal wallets, purses and vandalize hotel rooms and thus gain access to your financial information. Travelers can opt for prepaid travel cards in order to avoid the risk altogether.

Mail

Thieves can easily get your credit card information by stealing your mail. Bills that have been put up during the night to be picked up by the mailman can be stolen from your mailbox long before the mailman arrives. You can avoid such hassles by making all your payments online. In case you are not comfortable with online payment of your bills, then ensure that you personally hand over the outgoing bills to the mailman, thereby avoiding theft of your credit card information.

When using our credit card whether it is online or at your local ATM, it is necessary to be aware of the dangers of credit card theft. Stealing your credit card information one of the fastest ways to have your identity stolen which can impact your credit score among other things. Be aware of your surroundings and be sure to only provide personal information on secure websites.

Todd Brinkman writes about internet security, data protection, website development, computer security law and other related matters; those curious about these issues should check out the ID theft services from Protect Your Bubble.

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