It can be very disturbing to read your credit card bill and see charges that you did not make. The theft of credit card data is quite common and can be a huge headache for the victim. You have to begin the dispute process of the charges and convince your credit card company that you did not make the charges. You may even have to contact the various places where the information was fraudulently used. It can be time-consuming and stressful.

One way to avoid having your data stolen is to know some of the common ways thieves steal the information. Being “in the know” will help you avoid situations where your confidential information is at risk.

Always keep your credit card in your vision. If someone removes your credit card from your possession to pay for a purchase, you are at risk. Instead of letting the waiter take your card to the register, insist on paying at the register on your own. Thieves can use tiny “readers” that fit in their pocket to scan your card without your knowledge and steal your information.

Some thieves will distract sales clerks to switch out the store card reader with their own. If you are in line to pay for a purchase and notice a distraction, such as someone fainting, keep a close eye on the person that remains at the register. If the customer does not budge from their spot, even with all of the commotion, they may be trying to switch out the readers. If you are the clerk in this situation, pay attention to your register, even as you try to help the alleged victim.

Thieves will place devices called skimmers on gas station pumps late at night. This is a good time for them to do their dirty work because the station is normally deserted. The skimmer will collect information over the next few days from everyone that uses a card at the pump. If possible, avoid using your card at the pump. If you are the clerk at a gas station during the evening hours, pay special attention to customers that use the pump reader.

Thieves will also use malware to steal data from websites that are not secure. Before you make an online purchase, make sure that the site is secure, especially the purchase process. If you are the seller, make sure you use a secure payment process. And use logos and other graphics to let your customers know you care about their security. Simple signs can mean the difference between a sale and abandoning your site.

Share This