Criminals, unfortunately, are very smart sometimes and are constantly coming up with new ways to get ahold of other people’s information and money. One of these ways that has just recently started making news is credit card dumping. So, what is credit card dumping? How can it hurt you, and how can you protect yourself?
This is important information to understand. If you don’t know how it works, you may be leaving yourself vulnerable to thieves running up your credit card accounts. When this occurs, you could be leaving yourself open to wage garnishment and other legal action that could hurt you for years to come. Your credit history could also take a hit if you don’t know about the debt and therefore, don’t pay it off.
What Is Credit Card Dumping?
Credit card dumping occurs when criminals steal your credit card information. They find this information on the black stripe that’s on the back of every card. Once they have this information, they might use it to make unauthorized credit card purchases, or they may even sell it to other criminals on the black market and on the Internet.
Surprisingly, when criminals purchase your credit card information, it often doesn’t cost them a lot of money. Forbes ran a story about a person who exchanged information from 15 credit cards for a camera and $250 in cash. That works out to just about $25 for each card. The damage it will do to the amount of credit you have available, and possibly your credit history is much more than that.
How Criminals Access Your Information
The magnetic strip may look like one simple line. However, this strip actually contains three tracks of different information. The first track contains your name or the name on the credit card. The second track contains the credit card number and the expiration date. Lastly, the third track holds any information about the loyalty programs that may be associated with the card.
So, how do criminals access this information? It’s usually through credit card skimming devices. These devices collect the information found in the tracks within the black strip. Criminals install these skimming devices onto any machine that accepts credit cards. This includes ATMs, the machines found on gas station pumps, parking lots machines, and anywhere else you may enter your card.
In some cases, criminals don’t use skimming machines. Instead, they hack a merchant’s credit card machine. This gives them access to the information on any credit card that has been processed through that machine. Other times, criminals are extremely stealthy and install spyware on these machines so they can retrieve the information that way.
How to Spot a Credit Card Dump
Unfortunately, there is no way to tell if your credit card information has been stolen in a credit card dump. The only time you’ll be able to detect it is if the information is used and you see unauthorized transactions on your account. As such, you should always check your statements, carefully looking for charges you did not make.
You should also sign up for any notification alerts your credit card company offers. These notifications are sent to you any time there is a purchase made with your credit card, which will alert you as early as possible if there are transactions made on your account. When you see purchases that you did not make, you can then contact your credit card company immediately and ask them to investigate the charges. After investigating the charges, the credit card company can send you a new card and reverse the charges so you are not liable for them.
How to Protect Yourself from a Credit Card Dump
Many consumers think that having an EMV chip on their credit card means that they are fully protected from credit card dumps. Unfortunately, they are not. It’s true that credit card companies have started installing these chips on cards in order to keep consumers, and their information, more secure. However, these chips really only protect your card in stores that have the chip reader, and many do not. This means that when you’re using these cards, your card is particularly at risk.
Credit card companies are also becoming more sophisticated at detecting unauthorized purchases early. If there is a suspicious transaction on your account, the issuer will stop the purchase from going through and will call you or email you to verify the transaction. This can be annoying if you’re trying to make a purchase and your credit card company won’t let you. However, if your credit card company offers this service, you should use it, as it’s a great way to protect yourself.
One of the best ways to protect yourself from a credit card dump is to know how to identify skimming machines. When these are installed on ATMs and other machines, the part that you place your card into will likely feel a little loose. Even the keypad may be loose if they have also installed a device used to take your PIN. The parts on these machines should never be loose or ill-fitting. They are built very solidly and are typically very well maintained.
Although criminals may be getting smarter, you can still outsmart them and protect yourself. Always be vigilant about charges made on your card, as well as where you’re using your card, and you may save yourself from trouble.
Facing Debt That’s Not Yours? Call Our Florida Debt Defense Lawyers
Credit card dumps are, unfortunately, just one way criminals gain access to your money and your information to take advantage of you. When this happens, you could find yourself in the middle of legal action that could have serious consequences. If this has already happened to you, our Fort Lauderdale debt defense attorneys are here to help. At Loan Lawyers, we know how to prove that debt isn’t yours and build you a solid defense that can stop the legal action, and remove your liability for paying off the debt. Call us today at (954) 523-HELP (4357) for your free consultation so we can start discussing your case.
Loan Lawyers has helped over 5,000 South Florida homeowners and consumers with their debt problems, we have saved over 2,000 homes from foreclosure, eliminated more than $100,000,000 in mortgage principal and consumer debt, and have recovered over $10,000,000 on behalf of our clients due to bank, loan servicer, and debt collector violations. Contact us for a free consultation and find out more about our money-back guarantee on credit card debt buyer lawsuits, and how we may be able to help you.