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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Unbelievable Simplistic Credit Card Fraud

Just to be clear from the outset: You are NOT supposed to copy this recipe for getting other people’s credit card information. Rather than that it is meant as a heads-up for you to keep a watch on your envelopes in which you receive your new Credit Card.

Here’s what happened over here:  2 months ago I lost one of my Credit Cards. I reported it missing and was promised a new one within a week. Well, that week eventually turned into 2 months. Anyway, when that piece of plastic finally arrived I discovered that the entire front side Credit Card information could be felt through the paper. And I mean FELT. Someone had managed to press the raised letters through the paper and it was plainly readable on the outside. You remember the old-fashioned CC-slider machines? That very same way was used on my Credit Card just by rubbing a thumbnail across it a couple of times. How would you like to have the mail carrier be able to read your Credit card information?

Of course, I reported this to the Credit Card company which immediately canceled the brand new card.

Let’s just say I had not discovered the attempt to steal my Credit card information I would have activated the card in good faith which would have enabled the fraudster to start using the stolen information. The trick is to let YOU do the activation then start abusing the card. And of course that kind of information can be sold to the highest bidder on the internet.
Notice also that no high-tech hacking or phishing is required to get this fraud going.

The big question remaining is where has my Credit card been over the past 2 months and who has had access to the letter. A letter containing a Credit Card can easily be detected in the mail and be tampered with.

There is an easy fix for it though:
Credit Card companies should start sticking new cards into a card-board pocket or even better: use hard paper envelopes.

Until that happens here’s what you should do when receiving a card in the mail:
Check the envelope whether you can feel anything odd on it. If you can actually feel and see the card info through the paper call the card company and get their attention and do NOT activate the card, as you will just be doing the job the fraudster has been waiting for.

Besides I talked to the Fraud Prevention Unit of the Card company I also contacted CTV. And they came out here within 2 hours and conducted an interview with me.
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3 comments:

  1. We've had our credit card compromised before. Once was the day before we were leaving on a trip. It was my AMEX that everything booked on. The worst was last year the first time Home Depot's card machine info was stolen. Now that's a mess! However, we went right down to our bank and got a temporary card the day after we discovered it.

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  2. That's a good warning. Never would have thought about that one. Thanks.

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