Credit Card Cloning: Getting the Credit Card Number

Identity theft is very serious and a growing problem all over the world. As more and more of our lives are linked to credit reports and credit companies, which deal with names and numbers rather than faces, stealing someones identity becomes much easier. One of the most common types of credit card theft is a subset of account takeover, which involves a process called credit card cloning.

Credit card cloning does not always involve credit cards, but can also involve debit cards or even gift cards. In terms of the cost of identty theft, credit card fraud is the most serious type of identity theft. In fact, in a recent report, it was found that almost 75% of those who experienced identity theft had some sort of credit fraud preformed.

Usually the credit card itself is not stolen, but instead the number, expiration date, and occasionally pin is obtained by the criminal. Using this information it is possible for less sophisticated crimnals to simply make online purchases or purchases over the phone, but for the more sophisticated criminal, it is possible to use this information to make a realistic copy of the credit car. In both cases, though, the crime is usually not discovered until fraudlent purchases are found on the account.

There are many ways that a criminal will obtain a credit card number. They may find a credit card vendor that does not protect their information well, making away with thousands upon thousands of credit card numbers. It can also be on a much more personal level and more and more, criminals are using ATM Skimmers, which are placed over a real ATM and send the information to the criminal when ever a card is inserted.

Usually, you can tell there is an ATM skimmer on the ATM simply by looking at it, although this is not always the case. In a recent case in North Carolina, two gas station attendents actually put the skimmers inside of the gas pump, so there was no way to tell it was there just by looking at it.

Another much less sophisticated approach to credit card skimming involves simply taking a picture of the credit card or adjusting a security camera so that it has a direct view of the credit card as it is being swiped by the customer. This is often done by store clerks, although this is not always the case, as many security systems in stores are not well protected.

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