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Cyber Crime

Old Crime, New Tricks

Learn about the modern ways thieves steal credit card information.

A survey released by ACI Worldwide reported that approximately 27% of all consumers have been victims of credit card fraud, with more than 1 in 10 victims experiencing fraud multiple times during a 5-year period. And a skimming scam was reported to be responsible for a customer loss of close to $200,000 in just one incident.

Consumers have embraced the electronic age. Forgoing cash for credit and debit cards, they swipe their cards and access their accounts multiple times a day. However, the ease and accessibility of electronic transactions increases the risk for credit card fraud, as it opens the door to a slew of techniques that exploit electronic environments.

There is good news: you can prevent credit card fraud by being aware of the methods used by thieves, and by taking steps to protect your information. Here are some top scams along with preventative guidelines.

Thieves can now attach a device called a “skimmer” to the mouth of a card-acceptance slot to record the data on your card as you slide it in. Skimmers are difficult to detect.

What you can do:

  • Be alert for suspicious devices on your credit card terminals/devices.
  • Be leery of unannounced service calls or suspicious behavior around credit card terminals.
  • Don’t leave cash registers/credit card machines unattended.

More and more thieves are hacking into organization’s networks to steal business records containing account information. They may also bribe employees to provide access to personal information.

What you can do:

  • Use strong passwords containing a combination of characters, such as upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and possibly special characters.
  • Avoid public hotspots and always use secure networks when accessing confidential information.

Dumpster Diving.
Thieves will use any means necessary to gain access to personal information—even if that means digging in the trash.

What you can do:

  • Dispose of confidential information in a secure bin or with a crosscut shredder.
  • Follow your company policies for disposing of computers, hard drives, or other electronic devices containing confidential information to ensure it is wiped from the device.

Social Engineering.
Thieves often manipulate people to provide account numbers, passwords, or access into buildings. This may occur in person, over the phone, or online.

What you can do:

  • Never allow anyone to follow you into a secure area.
  • Never share your password with anyone—even if you know the person.


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