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How Does My Credit Card Number Get Stolen

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What To Do If Your Credit Card Information Is Stolen

What to do When Your Debit/Credit Card Gets Stolen

Following the best practices in this article will help keep your credit card information away from danger. Nothing is foolproof, however. So, you may need to take action if your information is stolen.

Here’s what you should do.

1. Contact your credit card issuer

2. Update your passwords

Between data breaches, malware and public Wi-Fi networks, hackers can use several online methods to steal your credit card and personal information. Updating your passwords on any websites you regularly visit can prevent them from gaining access to this data.

3. Review and dispute credit reports

Even after you cancel your credit card, there may still be some transactions you’re not aware of. Continue to monitor your credit statements so you can dispute suspicious transactions.

Credit cards are a common target for cybercriminals, and that’s not going to change anytime soon. Being aware of the methods they use to steal personal information — credit card data, in particular, but also other details that can lead to, among other things, identify theft — is the first step toward protecting yourself.

Being aware of the methods they use to steal credit card data, in particular, but also other kinds of personal information that can lead to, among other things, identify theft, is the first step toward protecting yourself. Implement the best practices in this article to keep your credit information safe and take a more active role in preventing yourself from becoming a victim of fraud.

Next Steps

Online Merchants Face Fraud

Online merchants face a tricky balancing act. On the one hand, they need to minimize fraud in online payments. But rejecting every single order that looks suspect will anger legitimate shoppers and hurt sales.

The average online store declined 2.6% of all incoming orders due to fear of fraud, according to a Merchant Risk Councils 2017 Global Fraud Survey. For a $25 million business, this means rejecting orders worth more than $600,000 annually.

Ive Had My Credit Card Compromised Too

It can be very frustrating.

Once I had both my cards compromised, for different reasons, while I was travelling to Las Vegas, no less. I was afraid Id have to do dishes to pay for my room, but my credit card company overnighted me a new card in time for check-out.

One of my cards was compromised by what I suspect was a service into whom I had simply placed too much trust. The other? I have no idea.

So lets look at some of the ways it can happen.

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What Are Facta Rules

FACTA prohibits vendors from printing more than the last five digits of a credit card number. If any other digits are shown, even if there are only five digits visible, vendors may be violating FACTA. Some examples of credit card FACTA violations include :

  • Example 1: 1111 22** **** 4444
  • Example 2: 1111 **** **** 4444
  • Example 3: **** **** **44 4444

FACTA also prohibits the printing of any expiration date information. This information is commonly used to authenticate online transactions. Expiration dates may be displayed in a number of different ways, so here are some examples of what to look out for:

  • Example 1: EXP: 03/17
  • Example 6: Exp Date: 03/17
  • Example 7: Exp Date: 03/31/17
  • Example 8: EXPIRY: 03/17
  • Example 12: **/17
  • Example 13: 2017/03

FACTA rules are typically upheld through a process called truncation. According to Tech Target Network, truncation replaces the digits of a card number with symbols such as * or # in order to protect consumer data. These symbols act as placeholders in the computer system while also hiding consumer information on printed receipts.

These rules apply to any electronically printed receipt, including those printed at a kiosk, restaurant or retailer. FACTA rules do not, however, apply to written receipts.

Stolen Credit Card Numbers: The Endgame

Stolen debit or credit cards? Do you get a new account ...

Lets break down the steps of a hypothetical credit card heist:

  • The criminals responsible collect all of the information theyve acquired, including tens, hundreds or thousands of cardholders individualized data, and put it up for sale on a dark web marketplace.
  • The list is bought by another group. At this point the data may enter into a period where it is bought and sold repeatedly or even quality tested for legitimacy. Though there is no specific timeframe as to how long stolen data stays in circulation, it could be anywhere from minutes to days to years.
  • Eventually a buyer begins to use the stolen data to make purchases either online or in physical stores using a fake card. They resell these purchases for cash.
  • Hopefully, this causes individual consumers to receive a notification about suspicious activity from their bank. Before the situation can worsen, these consumers are able to cancel their cards and successfully contest the purchases.
  • While this may be an overly simplified example, it highlights the journey credit card details make once they are stolen from you.

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    Report Loss Or Theft Immediately

    Acting fast limits your liability for charges you didnt authorize. Report the loss or theft of your card to the card issuer as quickly as possible. Many companies have toll-free numbers and 24-hour service for such emergencies. Once you report the loss of your ATM or debit card, federal law says you cannot be held liable for unauthorized transfers that occur after that time.

    • Follow up with a letter or email. Include your account number, the date and time when you noticed your card was missing, and when you first reported the loss.
    • Check your card statement carefully for transactions you didnt make. Report these transactions to the card issuer as quickly as possible. Be sure to send the letter to the address provided for billing errors.
    • Check if your homeowner’s or renters insurance policy covers your liability for card thefts. If not, some insurance companies will allow you to change your policy to include this protection.

    Are You Liable Do Banks Cover Theft

    Amy is an ACA and the CEO and founder of OnPoint Learning, a financial training company delivering training to financial professionals. She has nearly two decades of experience in the financial industry and as a financial instructor for industry professionals and individuals.

    When your debit card goes missing or thieves use your card number, its critical to act quickly. Unauthorized charges cause problems for both debit and credit cardsbut debit cards are especially problematic:

  • Debit card charges go directly to your checking account, so unexpected transactions can drain your account. As a result, you could fail to make important payments like rent, mortgage, and insurance premiums.
  • Your liability for a stolen debit card is greater than your risk with credit cardsunless you report the problem quickly enough.
  • The resolution process is the same whether thieves steal your card or you still have it . But you have more time to prevent losses if you have possession of your card.

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    Remove Credit Card Information From E

    Youre at the mercy of who have your personal info and have the weakest security, Weisman says. Every company is susceptible to being hacked.

    You can get around this by not saving your credit card information to any non-essential sites or retailers. Keeping your account number with, say, Amazon or Target leaves you more vulnerable to big data breaches, so its best to be picky about who you share info with.

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    S To Take If Youve Lost Your Credit Card

    If you lose your credit card, notify your bank immediately. Upon notification, the bank should cancel your lost credit card and reissue a new one.

    Other things you can do:

    • regularly monitor your credit card statements for any transactions that you didn’t make
    • carry your cards in a safe place
    • keep a list of your bank and credit card numbers in a safe place at home for reference purposes

    What Is Credit Card Fraud And How Does It Happen At Restaurants

    Basically, its when a someone steals another persons credit card information intentionally to use for fraudulent purposes, says Misty Carter, research specialist for the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

    There are a couple of ways credit card fraud can occur at a restaurant:

    Skimmer: A skimmer is a small device that attaches to a reader, says Yinzhi Cao, an assistant professor of computer science and engineering at Lehigh University. When a credit card is swiped, the skimmer captures the magnetic field, and then collects it, saving the data of everyone who swipes.

    While skimmers are most often used at ATMs and gas stations, theyve been used at restaurants before . Its starting to become more prevalent at restaurants, Carter says. Usually its the waitstaff they get your credit card, and they have skimmers that are so small they can be held in the palm of your hand.

    When a diner hands the server her credit card, the server will swipe it through the restaurants own point-of-sale system and then through a skimmer, which records the credit card number. A lot of times, theres an organized crime ring behind it all, Carter says. Usually, the waitstaff would just be a part of the larger ring.

    Hacking: Hacking is huge, Carter says. When you look at big companies Home Depot, etc. their customer information tends to be stolen through hacking.

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    Check Your Insurance Coverage

    Some homeowners and renters insurance policies cover your liability for credit card theft. While the maximum you would have to pay out of pocket is $50, it may be worth checking to see if your insurance policy would cover that amount.

    You might also want to consider adding coverage for lost cards to your policy, if its available.

    Keep in mind that some credit card issuers offer zero liability as a card feature. In such cases, adding coverage through a homeowners policy might not be necessary.

    Tips To Prevent Credit Card Fraud

    Leaky Squid: I

    Remember these tips when using your credit card in public places or at places of business:

    • keep your credit card in a safe place
    • limit the number of credit cards you carry with you
    • cover the keypad with your hand or body when entering your PIN so no one can see it
    • keep your credit card in sight at all times when making a purchase
    • report anything you think is suspicious about a credit card device at a business or ATM to the businesss head office and your credit card issuer

    At home

    Protect yourself from credit card fraud at home by doing the following:

    • lock your mailbox if you can to prevent someone from stealing your credit card statements or replacement cards
    • sign the back of a new credit card immediately after you get it
    • destroy old credit cards that are no longer valid by cutting them up
    • keep your credit card statements in a safe place
    • shred credit card statements when you no longer need them


    When banking or shopping online, look for websites with addresses starting with https or ones that have a padlock image on the address bar. These are signs that your information will be secure.

    Protect yourself from credit card fraud online by also doing the following:

    Over the telephone

    Legitimate credit card companies dont ask for personal information over the phone. Use the telephone number found on the back of your card when you want to contact your credit card issuer.

    Protect yourself from credit card fraud when on the telephone by also doing the following:

    In general

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    What To Do If Your Credit Card Number Is Stolen

    If your , the Federal Trade Commission outlines the steps you should take right away:

    • Report the loss of your credit card or card number to your issuer immediately, which you can usually do using its toll-free number or 24-hour emergency phone number.
    • Follow up with a letter or email that includes your account number, the date and time the card was noticed missing and when you reported the loss.
    • Check your credit card statement carefully for purchases you didnt make, and let your card issuer know of any fraudulent transactions immediately.
    • Carefully monitor your credit reports to make sure nobody has more of your information and that the theft of your card hasnt led to other instances of identity theft.
    • You can check your credit reports for free once a year from all three credit bureausExperian, Equifax and TransUnionusing the website

    Spending Like Theres No Tomorrow

    A credit card number can be sold and resold multiple times before someone actually tries to use it. Once the final buyer has the information in hand, he or she will use it to try to make purchases while evading your notice. Sometimes, criminals will print up plastic cards with the new number and use them at physical stores, but it’s more likely theyll make purchases online. Its a race to charge as much to the card as possible before the bank freezes the account.

    EMV chips don’t solve the problem. EMV technology is great for preventing fraud using a physical credit card, but it doesn’t prevent the online transactions that cybercriminals thrive on. That’s why having the CVV is important it makes the card easier to use online.

    » MORE:How to spot and dispute fraudulent credit card charges

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    Am I Responsible For Fraudulent Credit Card Purchases

    The good news about credit card theft is that most credit cards offer zero fraud liability protection, meaning youre not on the hook for a single cent in fraudulent purchases. However, the absolute most you could be liable for is $50, thanks to protections included in the Fair Credit Billing Act .

    This is a huge departure from your potential liability for fraudulent purchases made with a debit card, which could include all the money in your bank account if a thief is able to use your debit account number to drain it and you dont notice the fraud within 60 days of your bank statement being sent to you.

    Has Newer Technology Like Chip Cards Or Contactless Cards Made Fraud Any Harder

    Stolen debit or credit cards? Do you get a new account number? #396

    Even chip cards arent foolproof. According to Carter, there are ways that criminals can steal credit card numbers without even coming in to contact with the card. There are devices some that can fit inside a wallet that, when they get near to your wallet, can capture your credit card information. Essentially, it send out signals and demagnetizes the area around the card.

    Those devices are pretty rare, but Carter cautions that even chip cards and contactless cards arent immune to fraud.

    Cao recently led a team of researchers in developing a method to prevent mass credit card fraud using existing magnetic card readers . The technique, called SafePay, works through a smartphone, by communicating with a banks server and creating a disposable credit card number during transactions. That disposable number is then sent to a card-shaped device, simulating the behavior of a physical magnetic credit card.

    Once the one-time number is used, it then expires, he says. Even if someone steals the number, it has already become useless. Chao says that the device is on par with a contactless card or a chip card, in terms of safety the real advantage is in its deployment.


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    Sign Up For Credit Monitoring

    If you had your credit card physically stolen and you reported it right away, you may not need to worry about identity theft. But if you think it could have happened, you may want to sign up for a credit monitoring service for ongoing protection. Along these lines, you may want to consider freezing your credit for a period of time.

    My Stolen Credit Card Details Were Used 4500 Miles Away I Tried To Find Out How It Happened

    When cybersecurity reporter Danny Palmer found his card was apparently used on another continent, he set out to discover more.

    On a Thursday back in February I was relaxing and watching TV when my evening was interrupted by the ping of a text message from my bank.

    “You will shortly receive an SMS to confirm recent activity on your card.”

    I was puzzled. I certainly hadn’t made any strange or unexpected purchases that day, so what was this about? About 30 seconds later, I received my answer in a second text message.

    It said my credit card details had been used less than a minute before to try to make a payment of £108 at a store with an unfamiliar name.

    A quick search online revealed it to be a supermarket in the city of Paramaribo, Suriname a small country on the north-eastern coast of South America, bordered by Brazil, Guyana and French Guiana. That’s quite a long way from my home in London, so I was pretty sure I hadn’t popped into that store to pick anything up in the last 60 seconds.

    The alert asked me to confirm the transaction by replying with ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. It did cross my mind that perhaps this was a double- or triple-bluff scam and that by responding to an unexpected text message, I would be making a big mistake. Just in case, I chose to phone the bank instead.

    They confirmed that yes, someone had attempted to use my card details over 4,500 miles away from London but the attempted payment was blocked as suspicious, so no money was stolen.

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