What is Carding and how can it affect you?
Carding is the act of taking the credit card information from an unsuspecting victim and using it to either make unauthorized purchases, or to sell to other criminals who are more than willing to pay for the credit card.
This crime isn’t really new, but the way criminals commit carding has changed throughout the years as technology has introduced new ways to commit crimes.
How does carding take place?
In the past, criminals relied on the “trashing” method for carding.
This meant they would steal credit card information by looking through someone’s mail or trash can.
But today, criminals may rely on ATM credit card skimmers that can be disguised and leave card holders vulnerable to theft.
Criminals can card by hacking into banking institutions to steal clients’ data.
In some cases might even call hotel room numbers and pose as hotel employees by asking guests to “confirm” their credit card numbers.
The physical theft of a credit card would also qualify as carding.
Once your credit card information has been stolen, thieves may use the information in a number of ways.
This means you could suffer money loss or harm to your credit score.
Some may use stolen credit card numbers to buy pre-paid cards from companies that operate restaurants, retailers, gaming services, or even pre-paid credit cards.
These store-branded cards can then be sold to others on the Internet or in person then can be used by the thieves to buy particular products that can then be sold for cash.
Thieves could also steal credit card information, compile the data into a list, and then sell that stolen credit card information to third parties.
How do I protect myself from carding?
Various products promise to keep your credit card transactions secure.
Banks and online payment systems often use their own security measures, or those produced by other companies.
Otherwise, take these steps to protect your credit card information:
- Don’t write your credit card number on anything else. Some thieves find credit card information on envelopes or inside notebooks.
- Don’t share your account details with anyone unless you know them to be legitimate. When someone calls you and asks for your credit card information, it’s likely a scam.
- Tell your credit card company if you plan to be traveling and using your credit card in places you wouldn’t normally visit. You should also let them know if you move, so that your mail can be sent to the proper address.
- Consider carrying your credit cards separate from your wallet or purse. Thieves instinctively target these items, but if your credit cards aren’t in them, you’ve saved yourself the hassle of dealing with a credit card theft. And if you’re not going to need a particular card, don’t even carry it.
- Report any unauthorized or suspicious activities immediately. This means you should always open your bills promptly or view them online to be sure they are accurate.
- When visiting a restaurant or other business, don’t sign a blank receipt. If there are empty spaces or lines on the receipt, mark through them. Also, save your receipts so you can later compare them to your bill.
- If you lose a credit card or if it is stolen, report the loss to your company immediately. Most larger companies have 24-hour service that will cancel the cards and prevent unauthorized uses.