Joined: 05 June 2005
Card fraud: How does it work?
Often heard / read horror stories about credit card frauds. How people end up footing huge shopping bills of items they actually never purchase.
And now, with ecom taking off in the country (India), the realm of credit card criminals has expanded further. The credit card nightmares are increasingly making their way to the virtual space.
In fact, according to Delhi Police, online credit card fraud has sharply increased over the last two years.
Here's how these fraudsters actually go about accomplishing their murky tasks and, also, how as credit card owners you can get better of them.
The fraud may often start from the restaurant or the petrol pump we often frequent. As the first step for these fraudsters is to recruit an unscrupulous bartender, waiter or a shop assistant to steal information from customers' credit or debit cards.
Skimming to perfection
These recruits are given a pocket-size device with a scanning slot which looks like a pager and can be even worn on a belt. This contraption is called a skimmer.
As the customer pays by the card, these unscrupulous employees quietly swipe the card before it actually reaches the pay counter. This copies the information from the magnetic tape.
The card details are copied on to counterfeit cards, complete with security holograms markings. Now the splurging starts at customer's expense.
However, the poor customer remains completely unaware that his card has been cloned until he notices huge bills or he gets a query from his credit card company about his sudden unusual spending.
Scared? But remember, safety saves
Always give your phone number to the company for verification of suspicious transactions.
Notify the bank immediately whenever the monthly statement doesn't arrive on time.
Be on your guard
Be wary of any phone call or email seeking details of your account.
Always remember to shred your credit card statements after checking the transactions.
Beware those photocopies!
Remember, its suicidal to give the photocopies of both sides of your credit card to anyone. The last three digits of the account number printed at the back of the credit card are required for the completion of any online transaction.
The Card Security Code (CSC), sometimes called Card Verification Value or Code (CVV or CVC), is a security feature for credit or debit card transactions, giving increased protection against credit card fraud. There are actually two security codes.
The first code, called CVC1 or CVV1, is encoded on the magnetic strip of the card and is used for transactions 'done in person'.
The second code, and the most cited, is CVV2 or CVC2. This CSC is often required by merchants to secure 'card nor present' transactions (those done via Internet, fax, phone or by email).
Go by 'https' NOT 'http'
Remember genuine websites use encryption technologies. Any website using encryption will have https instead of http.
Also, while traveling, always be careful about using credit cards at Internet cafes or anywhere with a wireless connection.
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