How To Stop Online Credit Card Fraud!

How To Stop Online Credit Card Fraud!

Protect Your Credit Cards Online
Protect Your Credit Cards Online Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

I wonder how many places on the internet our credit card numbers, home addresses and other personal details are listed? If you think really about it, you should be very, very, concerned. I do try to use Paypal as much as possible for transactions to eliminate having to continue to spread my card number around, and risk credit card fraud but if Pay Pal gets hacked….

With the recent hacking by Anonymous and Lulzsec into companies like Sony, PBS, Fox and the CIA website, (by the way, the two hacker groups are now joining together to take on another hacking group!) I, and no doubt millions of others are really starting to wonder about our online credit cards and security online. If you are not yet concerned, you should be!

I’m looking around at where my own family have their credit cards listed, and getting them removed from online sites if I can. I can advise that for iTunes and online gaming, a disposable bought card is the best solution. You can get these locally at your bricks and mortar gaming or electronic shop. In Sydney try Dick Smiths, EB Games etc…

Is there some way of tracing where our details are and who has them? It seems no one is safe right now. The bad thing is, that we don’t know who will be hit next, the good thing is, that the hackers are getting everyone thinking about better security, but will any security be able to keep up with the hackers?

For some insight into this latest issue I spoke to Graham Cluely @gcluley on twitter, the Senior Technology Consultant at Sophos, an online security company with over 20 years expertise.

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L.S Is there anywhere a citizen can go to find out where their credit card is listed and have it removed?

G.C No. And if you think about it, there shouldn’t be.

What you’re suggesting would mean that a third-party service would be able to scour the databases of every online retailer, attempting to see whose credit card is there. Or that a central database be held of who has given their credit card details to which firms. That would itself open up huge privacy concerns. I certainly wouldn’t want someone to be able to tell everywhere I buy stuff online. 🙂

And, of course, firms should be storing your details safely and securely with encryption.

L.S Is there anywhere they can go to see where their details like home address are listed?

G.C No, for similar reasons.

L.S Is Paypal a more secure way of buying goods online?

G.S It’s pretty good – because you don’t have to share your credit card details with lots of small firms, so you don’t have to trust them to look after that information securely.

L.S Do you recommend that in light of all the hacking by Anonymous and Lulzsec that people go an change all their passwords over to something unique and very strong?

G.S That makes sense *regardless* of Anonymous and LulzSec. Nobody should be using an easy-to-crack or easy-to guess password, and you should never use the same password in multiple places.

So yup folks if, like me, you have been putting your credit card and personal details all over the net for years and years….over 15 years in my case…tracking it all down is going to be very very hard. If you haven’t, take Grahams advice change those passwords or credit card numbers today! Make them uncrackable and write them down on good old fashioned paper if need be, and hide them in the garden, (better dig down deep!) Remember the strongest passwords are unrelated to anything personal, have at least one capital letter, one or 2 digit numbers and are at least 8 digits long. Until someone comes up with a better solution its going to be very complicated!

 

Updated 21st June 2011

Oh Dear….I was informed today that someone has in fact used my credit/access card number to fraudulently purchase goods in Germany. Nope I did NOT make a quick trip last week! over 500.00 dollars has been spent on this card, and I have no idea where this card was listed online. Luckily my bank suspected something was up, apparently there’s been “a lot of this lately” cancelled the card, and now I’m going thru the process of signing things so that my bank can put the money and the exchange service charges back into our account. I have used this card online, but the authorities have no idea where the thieves got it. I’m not sure how they used it, and how they used it without a pin number. Or a valid signature. This all happened while I was planning this post…..so I’m sure its not as a result of this post 🙂

Be careful out there folks. If I hear anything more about this I think is important information that you might learn from I’ll let you know. Looks like we will be eating porridge for a few days and nights until we get the money refunded..as it came out of our personal account NOT our credit card sigh…..

Updated 21st June 6pm:

It was actually over $1000.00 stolen not $500.00 that was just for one transaction. I was told by St George, my bank, initially that it would take over 5 weeks for a form to reach me to fill out!!! When I explained that this amount actually came out of our household savings account and that we were now down to $100 dollars…no pay for a week and a half…Vanessa from St George flew into action and sent me the form via email. So hopefully we will be back on solid food by the end of the week! Whilst we do have credit on our cards, neither of us wants to take cash advances from our cards for our grocery bills, and then have to pay the fees and interest on them because of theft from our account, that we personally didn’t have any responsibility for. The only place Im aware that this card was listed was on Amazon.com . Vanessa explained that what these guys do, is build a credit card from your number and fake the black strip and its all under another name ect…so they can take any money they want out, as long as they don’t raise suspicion, without a PIN. Both amounts were withdrawn from Petrol Service Stations in Germany, I was advised what these thieves often do is buy cartons of cigerettes with the money, then sell those. Its a way of laundering.

What are the odds that I write a post on credit card fraud before this even happens, have it sitting in drafts, and 2 days before I post it, we get done! sigh…I swear its not for hits on this post…but really… cue the Twilight Zone Music!

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  • Toni

    My credit card numbers were used to buy airline tickets to Dublin last year. Fortunately I noticed early because I was checking my credit card online – otherwise I wouldn’t have found out till the bill came in.
    The bank was very good and refunded the money right away and issued a new card, but the lesson (or one of them) is to check your card frequently online, so you find out soon.

    • Well they sent me a text, but I didn’t understand it, thought it was something else…