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Credit Card Frauds In Mobile And Wireless Computing Era

Various ways Credit cards users could be scammed

It would be fair to claim that paying online via credit card has spared its users from wasting time going out to shops to grab what they need. Nevertheless, as opposed to what people may believe, paying online is far from being a safe operation as there are hackers and scammers who are waiting behind their computer screens to trap the individuals that would make online transactions, be they booking a plane or train tickets, buying clothes or the like. In the present article, we will go through several ways scammers can steal your credit card information and use it for their own purposes without you being aware of it, and how the users can avoid such a fraud.

Copied card number

To pay for online purchases, it is sometimes sufficient to provide the number, expiration date and CVV digits of your credit card (but European legislation means that this will become increasingly rare). However, these data are visible on the map itself. Some criminals manage to write them down without needing to steal the card. The data can also be intercepted by "hackers" while the owner of the card is using them on the internet. It is usually only (much) later - by consulting their expense report - that the consumer, who has always remained in possession of his card, realizes that the card has been used without his knowledge to make various purchases on the Internet.

Card "swallowed"

The criminals insert a device into the slot of the cash dispenser that holds the card - this is usually a piece of plastic with a sticker that secures your card so that it does not come out of the device. So you think it was "swallowed".

To get your code, the crooks have spied on you (standing behind you in the line, or even sometimes using a small camera) or pretend to help you by suggesting that you redo the code to unlock your card. . When you leave the bank convinced that your card has been swallowed up by the machine, they recover it and, provided with the secret code, they withdraw as much money as possible.

The thugs usually act in the evening or on weekends, so that you cannot immediately go to the bank counter.

Counterfeit card

The criminals “borrow” for a few moments your payment or credit card, to copy the magnetic strip and transfer the data to a blank card which they then use to make payments. These copies are usually made at the back of restaurants or cafes.

The consumer does not realize the deception until later, by noting the withdrawals on his account statements.

You should know that in places, most often outside Europe, some payment terminals only read the magnetic stripe of cards. They accept payment without entering a secret code and without an electronic chip.


You receive an email that appears to be from the bank or from a company like Visa.

Under any pretext (computer failure, file control, new legislation, etc.), it says it has to check certain information. You are invited to log on to the bank's website, by clicking on the link provided. But, by clicking, you actually arrive on an almost perfect replica of your bank's site (a "mirror site"), on which you are invited to transmit a series of personal data: credit card number, account number, secret code of bank cards, secret code of internet banking, ...

Once in possession of this information, the hacker can carry out operations for his own benefit.

You will not discover the scam until later, when you read your account statements.

There are other techniques such as sending you to a counterfeit bank site, asking for information including your phone number. The thief then inserts a message that announces a phone call to perform a check. "We" call you and ask you to perform an operation, to give your PIN code, the "challenge" and the response to the challenge to the person on the phone. If you let yourself be fooled, the scammer hastens to empty the account for the duration of the interview.

There is also more and more often phishing via social networks. Fraudsters publish p. ex. a post in the name of a supermarket, announcing a steep price reduction or a competition, and which invites you to click on a link to participate. Or they do bogus online advertising. A common thread: you are directed to a fake site on which you must enter your bank details.


Spyware, designed to collect your personal data, is installed on your computer without your knowledge by a virus when you visit a website or download it.

This data is then used by the crooks to carry out transactions from your account or your credit card.

Card intercepted

Rarer, this is done in two stages. After stealing your wallet and the cards it contained, the thief, who now knows your address, spies the postman's passage to get his hands on the new card sent by the bank, then the secret code which is sent to you separately. little later.

Prevention is better than cure Of course, credit cards users can avoid such frauds by making sure to regularly following the above mentioned step:

  • Keep a close eye on your bank cards.
  • Check your account statements carefully. If you notice an anomaly, report it to your card issuer without delay.
  • Be sure to ensure the security of your computers by installing the appropriate software (anti-virus, firewall, etc.).
  • Never give out any sensitive data by phone or email. Only a thief is likely to ask you. A bank never does this.