As of April 2019, credit card fraud related to malware attacks is up 200 percent.
If that weren’t bad enough, you also run the risk of encountering this malicious software when you’re out running errands.
Through a process called a “credit card dump,” thieves are able to copy the information from your card’s magnetic strip and load it onto a blank card for themselves.
But, there are steps you can take to prevent this. Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we got you covered.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.
So, What Is a Credit Card Dump Again?
As previously mentioned, a credit card dump involves stealing information from your credit card and loading it onto a blank card for future use.
A common practice that thieves use is called skimming, which involves a card-reading device copies the inserted card’s information and stores it.
While it’s common sense to avoid these devices, they aren’t always obvious. Thieves often insert them within actual card readers at gas stations, ATMs, and other similar locations.
Data breaches are also ways criminals can steal credit card info. This is especially true for financial service companies, which hold the personal information of millions of people.
How to Avoid It
Luckily, all it takes is a bit of vigilance to prevent criminals from making purchases under your name and account information.
Check For Skimmers
When using your card at an ATM or gas station, check the card reader.
A reader that’s been tampered with may be misaligned, have an added device attached to it, or otherwise look suspicious. You can also wiggle the reader to see if there is anything detachable (there shouldn’t be).
Frequently Check Your Statements
If you consistently stay updated on your credit card statements, it’s difficult to not notice unwanted charges on your account.
In fact, these are usually immediately apparent. Large purchases or transactions at places you don’t frequently visit are red flags. If you do notice something out of the ordinary, contact your card provider immediately so they can handle the situation for you.
Pay Attention While Online Shopping
Even if you’re vigilant when using your card at card readers, you can still have your information stolen.
When shopping online, always make sure the URL begins with HTTPS. This is the only secure way to make online transactions.
If you’re still not sure, do a quick Google search. A query such as “company name scam” will likely provide your answer. Other people will be asking the same question on forums, reviews, etc. and you can see what type of responses they get.
Preventing a Credit Card Dump Can Seem Difficult
But it doesn’t have to be.
With the above information about avoiding a credit card dump in mind, you’ll be well on your way to keeping your financial information as safe as possible.
Want to learn more tips to help you manage your money? Make sure to check out the rest of our blog!