If you are in a situation where law enforcement suspects you of credit card theft, you may wonder how someone can get a hold of a credit card in the first place, particularly from someone who is not an acquaintance. As it turns out, a lot of credit card theft happens by stealing card numbers and other account information, not by taking the card itself.
According to U.S. News and World Report, the FTC reports that credit card fraud has accounted for a loss of $149 million just in the year 2020. So law enforcement takes this crime seriously. Here is a look at some ways criminals get a hold of credit card information.
A lot of social media posts are public, meaning anyone can read them. Many people know not to put sensitive financial information on their social media, but sometimes criminals deduce things like account passwords through other media posts.
For instance, a person may post pictures of a pet and include the pet’s name in the post. Some people use a pet’s name as a password. Criminals gather seemingly uncompromising information like this and use it to try to breach a credit card account.
Running credit card information through a public WiFi also poses a risk since many public WiFi networks have no encryption. A person could hack into the network and acquire credit card numbers and passwords. Sometimes criminals sit in places where people gather with their laptops and tablets in the hopes of catching financial information through a WiFi.
Storing info on a website
Many people keep credit card information saved on an online shopping account for the sake of convenience. Unfortunately, this runs the risk of hackers breaching the account and finding the information. Also, some websites you shop on may not be secure, which makes them more vulnerable to data breaches.
Taking steps to protect credit card information may prevent fraud from happening. It can also decrease the risk that an innocent person will become swept up in a credit card fraud investigation and face charges.