Over the years, several methods have been developed to protect credit cards. The latest one is the chip-and-pin technology. However, hackers and fraudsters tend to evolve alongside security measures. Below are common methods of how credit card info gets stolen, and what you can do about it.
4 Ways Credit Card Numbers Get Stolen
Getting emails or messages from websites can lead to credit card fraud. If you download or open an unknown link – spyware can be installed on your computer. When this type of ware is on your computer, it will export your credit card details. Other data can also be extracted and used by hackers and fraudsters.
2. Phishing emails
Authority is how they get you with this one. Hackers are experts in writing emails from supposedly legitimate sources. In some cases, hackers will even go as far as creating an entire website to support their scheme. These emails and websites usually include a phone number or link that you "have to" use to confirm details about yourself. When you do so – your data and credit card info gets stolen.
3. Public Wi-Fi Networks
What's better than free internet? Free internet that provides you with access to people's credit card info. Credit card fraud via free Wi-Fi connections is very common. When you log into someone else's network, you are in danger of having your data exposed. If you enter sensitive info into websites when you are on a free Wi-Fi network – someone can be monitoring your input and stealing it.
4. Data breach
Unfortunately, not even big and heavily protected organizations are safe from hackers. Banks and other establishments are always at risk of getting hacked, and it happens more often than you think. When this happens, sensitive and confidential data, such as credit card info, get stolen and used.
The best way to protect yourself from the damages of credit card theft is to prevent it. Be suspicious and cautious about anyone that calls, emails, or sends you a link that requires you to fill out personal information. If you have doubts, search the official site of the organization that sent you the request. Then, contact them and ask if they truly need your information. you can also run a background check on emails and phone numbers to discover who is behind them.
Also, keep tabs on your credit card activities. Check the weekly activity to see if any purchases were made by someone other than you. If your credit card data is stolen, notify your credit card provider ASAP, and they will freeze the stolen card. You should follow up with filing a police report and check to see whether your identity was also stolen. The hacker or thief will not necessarily get caught, but you will prevent further damages to your accounts.